Operating Characteristics of a High-Efficiency Pilot Scale Corn Distillers Grains Dryer
The rapidly expanding U.S. corn ethanol industry produces huge quantities of wet distillers grains and about 70% of this material is dried to 10% moisture. Drying this material requires about one-third of the energy used to operate a dry-grind corn ethanol plant. Tri-Phase Drying Technologies of Norwalk, Iowa has developed a rotary drum dryer which reclaims energy from the exhaust air stream. The objective of this research was to determine the energy requirement of the Tri-Phase dryer by pilot scale drying tests with wet distillers grains. Multiple tests of the pilot-scale dryer showed an energy input requirement of about 2890 kJ/kg (846 Btu/lb) of water removed when drying wet distillers grains from about 28% to 24% moisture. This is less than half the energy usually required for a drum dryer or a grain dryer. Use of this dryer design, scaled up to dry distillers grains at ethanol plants, has the potential for large energy savings for the corn ethanol industry.
This article is from Applied Engineering in Agriculture 27 (2011): 993–996, doi:10.13031/2013.40611. Posted with permission.