Distiller grain pellet production methods

  • US 8,652,555 B2
  • Filed: 10/15/2012
  • Issued: 02/18/2014
  • Est. Priority Date: 04/15/2011
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A method for producing a high density compact livestock feed from a granular material, the method comprising:

  • supplying the granular material to be treated;

    advancing the treated material through a series of successive treatment zones comprising a heating zone, a compression zone, and a cooling zone using a controller in communication with a plurality of sensors included in the heating zone, the compression zone, and the cooling zone;

    transferring the treated material into the heating zone, wherein the heating zone comprises at least one heater and at least one screw compression dryer;

    the screw compression dryer comprising an elongated housing having an inlet end and a discharge end, the inlet end in communication with a source and to receive the granular material to be treated for drying;

    a continuous rotatable screw provided within the elongated housing and extending between the inlet end and the discharge end, the screw has a diameter which increases in dimension in a direction away from the inlet end for increasing a compressive force applied to the treated material to assist with drying the treated material as the screw rotates and moves the treated material longitudinally along the screw;

    a drive coupled to a profile screw for axially rotating said profile screw, wherein the drive is in communication with the controller to regulate a residence time of the treated material in the series of successive treatment zones; and

    the at least one heater disposed along the housing for heating the treated material moving along the screw to a first predetermined temperature which causes at least one liquid to boil within the treated material and changes physical properties of the treated material into a modulus state;

    pressing the treated material through the compression zone comprising a compression device for compacting the treated material to form a high density compact body, wherein the compression device includes at least one through hole which extends longitudinally through the compression device and provides a passage for compressing the treated material, the through hole includes an inlet orifice for receiving the treated material from the heating zone and an outlet orifice for discharging the treated material to the cooling zone in the modulus state, wherein the inlet orifice includes a cross sectional area that is less than a cross sectional area defined by a circumference of an inside wall for the discharge end of the elongated housing, the treated material is pressed longitudinally through a compression chamber by simultaneously applying a lateral pressure and a two-dimensional cross-section compression which includes a first pressure applied in a direction traverse to a direction of transport and a second pressure applied in a direction parallel to the direction of transport, the controller controls the two-dimensional cross-section compression applied to the treated material such that the at least one liquids in the treated material migrates to an outer surface of the treated material upon reaching the outlet orifice; and

    transferring the high density compact body from the compression zone to the cooling zone comprising a cooling unit for cooling the high density compact body, wherein the cooling unit includes a die extremity tubing and a cooling device;

    the cooling device having a cooling conduit provided between a cooling device inlet and a cooling device outlet; and

    the die extremity tubing comprises a first opening in direct communication with the outlet orifice for receiving the treated material from the compression zone and a second opening for discharging the treated material from the device as a high density livestock feed, the die extremity tubing extends through the cooling conduit such that the cooling device surrounds the die extremity tubing to cool the treated material using conductive heat transfer and the cooling device is controlled to cool the treated material to a second predetermined temperature which is below a boiling temperature of the at least one liquid within the treated material.

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