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Sand, Salt To Dry Grain
In a year or two, you could be using sand or salt to dry grain faster and cheaper. The new drying concept has been under study for 10 years at the Canadian Agricultural Research Station at Swift Current, Sask., and has been incorporated into an on-farm dryer prototype that will soon be ready for commercial production, Silvio Tessier, research engineer who has been developing the equipment, told FARM SHOW.
The prototype dryer mixes wet grain with heated sand or salt, then separates out the dried grain from the heated material. Grain slated for feed is dried with salt, and sand is used to dry grain to be used for seed or other non-feed uses, explains Tessier. He notes-that there have been no problems in being able to remove the sand or salt particles from the grain once it's been dried down. "In a taste test, a panel of tasters found paddy rice dried with salt to taste no different than air-dried rice," says Tessier. A 4 ft. long prototype being tested dries grain at the rate of 1,500 lbs. per hour (10 points of moisture removed) and a larger commercial size prototype has a capacity of 5 tons per hour.
The ideal mixture, says Tessier, is about 1 lb. of sand or salt for each 3 lbs. of wet grain. Sand and salt are recycled through the dryer and, because of their heat-holding capacity, there is not as much energy input required in each new cycle.
Tessier notes that the energy requirement using salt or sand is about 20% less than air, and the drying is done 5 to 10 times as fast. For example, a bushel of corn at 18% moisture required 8,200 BTU of heated air to dry it down to 13%. But, with hot sand, only 6,500 BTU are required.
Details of the dryer are not available for publicity while patent proceedings are going on, but a commercial manufacturer reportedly is "tooling up" to have a unit in commercial production later this year. FARM SHOW will keep you posted on any new developments.

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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #1