The drying of oilseeds and grains is critical for downstream processing and storage. It prevents caking, agglomeration, spoilage, and degradation of material.
Conventional methods for drying oil- seeds and grains typically use high volumes of hot air that are blown through the bed of grains. Use of hot air as the heating media, as well as for moisture removal, limits the efficiency of this technique. Large volumes of air must be heated for heat transfer, and as the air picks up moisture from grains, the temperature of the air drops and the air reaches saturation. The larger the volume of air used, the more energy that is expended; much of this energy is lost up the stack
The use of indirect heat— through hot water or steam—has been shown to reduce the volume of air, consumption of energy, and emissions radically. If heat is avail- able from a waste heat source, this can further add to the energy efficiency of the drying process. The plate heat exchanger design incorporating cross airflow for removal of moisture uses indirect heating of the solids through plates. This reduces the demand for a large volume of hot air and keeps the air temperature constantly high, which enables the air to carry increased amounts of moisture before reaching saturation