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Title:
IMPROVED DRYER FOR PARTICULATE MATTER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/006176
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An improved apparatus is provided for drying particulate materials, the apparatus used to dehumidify ambient air; heating the air to relatively low drying temperatures; providing the dehumidified, heated air as process air to a system which uses the airflow as a transport method to fluidize the particulate matter and move the mixed process air and particles through a process column for drying. Once the particles reach a desired moisture level, their mass will have been reduced, and that effect plus the controlled velocity of the process air in the column will float the dried particle up and out of the column for further handling in a processing vessel comprising said column.

Inventors:
MOORE, Steven R. (P.O. Box 386, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta T4T 1A3, T4T 1A3, CA)
Application Number:
CA2017/050820
Publication Date:
January 11, 2018
Filing Date:
July 06, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LIONHEART INVESTMENTS INC. (386 4th Ave, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta T4T 1A3, T4T 1A3, CA)
International Classes:
F26B17/10; A01F25/00; F26B3/10; F26B15/20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAUGEN, Jay (Dentons Canada LLP, 2900 Manulife Place - 101 Stree, Edmonton Alberta T5J 3V5, T5J 3V5, CA)
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Claims:
CLAIMS:

1 . A dryer system for drying particulate matter, the system comprising:

a) a fan configured to draw in atmospheric air;

b) a dehumidifier operatively coupled to the fan, the dehumidifier configured to produce dehumidified air from the atmospheric air drawn in by the fan; c) a heater operatively coupled to the dehumidifier, the heater configured to heat the dehumidified air to produce heated, dehumidified process air; d) a conduit operatively coupled to the heater, the conduit configured to

direct the heated, dehumidified process air from the heater to past a particulate hopper further comprising a particulate injection port, wherein the particulate injection port is operatively coupled to the conduit, and wherein the conduit further providing communication from the particulate injection port to a substantially vertical column disposed within a process unit; and

e) wherein particulate matter can enter the conduit from the particulate

hopper through the particulate injection port and be carried by the heated, dehumidified process air in a fluidized air flow into and up the column, thereby drying the particulate matter to produce dried particulate matter.

2. The dryer system as set forth in claim 1 , wherein the injection port is configured to operate between an open position and a closed position on a graduated basis to control the amount of the particulate matter entering the conduit.

3. The dryer system as set forth in claim 1 or in claim 2, wherein the particulate hopper is configured to inject particulate matter into the conduit via gravity feed.

4. The dryer system as set forth in claim 1 or in claim 2, wherein the particulate hopper is configured to inject particulate matter into the conduit using a pneumatic force.

5. The dryer system as set forth in any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the height of the column is selected to allow the dried particulate matter to exit the column and to enter the process unit once the dried particulate matter has been dried to a predetermined moisture content.

6. The dryer system as set forth in any one claims 1 to 5, where the height of the column is in the range of 12 to 18 feet.

7. The dryer system as set forth in any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the process unit further comprises a port configured to release dried particulate matter from the process unit.

8. The dryer system as set forth in any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the process unit further comprises an air vent for the air flow to exit the process unit as vented process air.

9. The dryer system as set forth in any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the relative humidity of the heated, dehumidified process air is in the range of 0% to 2%.

10. The dryer system as set forth in any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the

temperature of the heated, dehumidified process air is in the range of 95°F to 160°F.

1 1 . The dryer system as set forth in any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the air flow is in the range of 4600 to 5600 cubic feet per minute.

12. A method for drying particulate matter, comprising the steps of:

a) drawing in atmospheric air;

b) dehumidifying the atmospheric air to produce dehumidified air;

c) heating the dehumidified air to produce heated, dehumidified process air; d) introducing the particulate matter into an air flow comprised of the heated, dehumidified process air, and flowing the particulate matter into and up a substantially vertical column in a process unit; and

e) suspending the particulate matter in the air flow in the column until the particulate matter has sufficiently dried to a predetermined moisture content, whereupon the particulate matter rises and exits the column into the process unit.

13. The method as set forth in claim 12, wherein the relative humidity of the heated, dehumidified process air is in the range of 0% to 2%.

14. The method as set forth in claim 12 or in claim 13, wherein the temperature of the heated, dehumidified process air is in the range of 95°F to 160°F.

15. The method as set forth in any one of claims 12 to 14, wherein the air flow is in the range of 4600 to 5600 cubic feet per minute.

Description:
IMPROVED DRYER FOR PARTICULATE MATTER

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS:

This application claims priority of United States provisional patent application serial no. 62/359,062 filed July 6, 2016, which is incorporated by reference into this application in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD:

The present disclosure is related to the field of grain dryers, in particular, grain dryers that can dry particulate matter in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

BACKGROUND: Grain and similar small particulate matter often includes moisture content, and it is desirable to reduce the moisture content of the particulate matter to a particular level. This drying effect on small particulate material is often achieved by exposing the particles to heated flowing air.

To be efficient and productive, particulate dryers must evenly dry particles being treated quickly and with minimal handling and energy-efficient heating and blowing of the air used in the treatment.

The particles must not be over-exposed to heat, either in terms of temperature or total heat energy, to avoid damage to the particulate material or undue chemical or other changes brought about by over-exposure to heat (for instance, cooking or scorching of grain).

Handling of the particulate matter should be minimal to avoid physical damage to the material or its outer coating or shell if present. Additionally, mechanical handling equipment should be easy to maintain and clean, and designed to avoid wear and clogging. Accurate measurement of the particulate matter's reduced moisture content during treatment is desirable in order to have a tailored or designed moisture content as an achievable process goal.

SUMMARY: In some embodiments, an improved grain dryer can be provided for drying particulate matter, comprising: a dehumidifier to treat process air; a heater to heat dehumidified air from the dehumidifier; b. a conduit to flow the heated, dehumidified process air from the heater past a particulate injection port in the conduit and to a column within a process unit; the injection port can be valved and manipulated to open or close on a modulated basis to permit more or less or no particulate matter to enter the air flow in the conduit; the particulate matter may be provided from a hopper to the conduit's injection port using gravity feed, pneumatic forces if fluidized, or any other means; the process air transports the particulate in a fluidized flow into and up the column in the process unit, drying the particulate matter; when a particle in the particulate matter loses a target amount of moisture and is thus dried to a desired degree, its reduced mass will permit the process air's flow to drive that particle up and out of the process column, and into the process unit; spent process air will vent from the process unit, and may be recycled to the dehumidifier; dried particles are permitted to fall to the bottom of the process unit and can gather there or be permitted to exit for collection and further handling. There are of course, variants to this apparatus and associated process which will be understood by those skilled in the art of grain drying and handling particulate matter for treatment, so the descriptions in this application are meant to be exemplary and not limited except only by the claims herein.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, a dryer system can be provided for drying particulate matter, the system comprising: a fan configured to draw in atmospheric air; a dehumidifier operatively coupled to the fan, the dehumidifier configured to produce dehumidified air from the atmospheric air drawn in by the fan; a heater operatively coupled to the dehumidifier, the heater configured to heat the dehumidified air to produce heated, dehumidified process air; a conduit operatively coupled to the heater, the conduit configured to direct the heated, dehumidified process air from the heater to past a particulate hopper further comprising a particulate injection port, wherein the particulate injection port is operatively coupled to the conduit, and wherein the conduit further providing communication from the particulate injection port to a substantially vertical column disposed within a process unit; and wherein particulate matter can enter the conduit from the particulate hopper through the particulate injection port and be carried by the heated, dehumidified process air in a fluidized air flow into and up the column, thereby drying the particulate matter to produce dried particulate matter.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the injection port can be configured to operate between an open position and a closed position on a graduated basis to control the amount of the particulate matter entering the conduit.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the particulate hopper can be configured to inject particulate matter into the conduit via gravity feed or by using a pneumatic force.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the height of the column can be selected to allow the dried particulate matter to exit the column and to enter the process unit once the dried particulate matter has been dried to a predetermined or desired moisture content.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the height of the column can be in the range of 12 to 18 feet.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the process unit can further comprise a port configured to release dried particulate matter from the process unit. Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the process unit can further comprise an air vent for the air flow to exit the process unit as vented process air.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the relative humidity of the heated, dehumidified process air can be in the range of 0% to 2%.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the temperature of the heated, dehumidified process air can be in the range of 95°F to 160°F. Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the air flow can be in the range of 4600 to 5600 cubic feet per minute.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:

Figure 1 is a block diagram depicted one embodiment depicting an improved grain dryer. Figure 2 is a side elevation cross-section view depicting a power unit for use with the improved grain dryer of Figure 1 .

Figure 3 is a top plan cross-section view depicting the power unit of Figure 2.

Figure 4 is a top plan view depicting a secondary condenser for use with the power unit of Figures 2 and 3. DETAILED DESCRIPTION:

An improved grain dryer is provided. In some embodiments, the improved grain dryer comprises the following features, as noted in Figures 1 to 4: using relatively conventional dehumidification (for example, by chilling) of air from atmosphere, heating that dehumidified air, optionally using heat exchange means (to capture otherwise waste heat from various processes such as driving the chiller and using its heat to increase air temperature after dehumidification by chilling), the grain dryer can provide large volumes of dehumidified and heated air for drying grain and other particulate matter; particulate matter can be introduced in a controlled (gated, metered) fashion to conduit 21 leading to process column 31 ; the particulate matter can be exposed to dehumidified and heated air provided at controlled flow velocity and volume, and introduced at controlled air temperature and humidity in process column 31 ; during the time period when the particulate matter is exposed to the dried heated airflow in process column 31 , moisture in the particles can be drawn or evaporated from the particulate matter and into the airflow so that the moisture content of the particles can be reduced at a designed high rate; as moisture departs the particles, the density of each particle can be reduced in a measurable proportion to the particle's moisture content, that is, as a particle loses moisture, its mass per gross volume and surface area can change in proportion to the amount of water per volume drawn off into the airflow; as the particles' density changes, the particles' cross-sectional surface area does not change in the same proportion (or at all), consequently, the 'floatation' characteristics of each particle in the airflow in process column 31 can change as the density of each particle changes; since the airflow is also used in process column 31 as a means of pneumatic transport of the particles through chamber 30, this change in each particle's density/surface area can be used to cause the transport of lighter (and thus dryer) particles higher into process column 31 than heavier/higher moisture content particles are transported (until they, too, are dried sufficiently to change 'buoyancy'); this moisture-content-based pneumatic transport effect can be used in the grain dryer to differentiate particles which have reached a designated dryness from the bulk of the particles so that as particles of a predictable density (and moisture content) can reach a particular height in the airflow in process column 31 ; once the particles reach point 33 in process column 31 , those particles can be removed from the process having attained a predesigned moisture content, by falling to the lower part of chamber 30 for removal at port 34; thus, the grain dryer can be tailored to achieve a particular moisture content in its operation by tailoring air flow rates, starting air humidity and starting air temperature, as well as particle injection rates into the process and removal rates of treated particles at a designated height 33 at the top of column 31 , in order to control dwell time in the heated airflow of each particle, temperature at which particles are exposed, and designed ending moisture content of particles treated. Referring to Figures 1 to 4, one embodiment of dryer system 100 is shown. In some embodiments, dryer system 100 can comprise power unit 10, plenum 12, conduit 21 and process column 31 disposed in process unit 35. Dryer system 100 can be installed in conjunction with particulate bin or hopper 20. Particulate in bin 20 can enter into conduit 21 by accumulating in funnel 23 disposed above injection port 22. In some embodiments, injection port 22 can operate from a closed position to an open position in gradual fashion to meter the amount of particulate that can pass through injection port 22 into conduit 21 . In some embodiments, injection port 22 can comprise a gate or guillotine valve mechanism. In other embodiments, injection port 22 can comprise a butterfly-style valve or other particulate metering valve mechanism as well known to those skilled in the art. In some embodiments, particulate can feed into injection port 22 simply by gravity feed through funnel 23. In other embodiments, pneumatic means can be used to pressurize bin 20 to provide additional force to feed the particulate through injection port 22. In embodiments, air compressor unit 25 can pressurize bin 20 internally to provide the pneumatic force required.

In some embodiments, heated and dehumidified air from power unit 10 can provide an airflow through conduit 21 , passing by injection port 22 to draw in particulate matter, and continue into and up process column 31. In some embodiments, the venturi effect caused by the air flow passing by injection port 22 in conduit 21 can draw in particulate matter through injection port 22 into the air flow to be delivered into column 31. In some embodiments, process column 31 can range from 12 to 18 feet in height. The height of column 31 can be selected for the needs of drying a specific particulate matter. As the particulate matter rises in the heated air flow within column 31 , it will dry and lose moisture and, thus, mass enabling the dried particulate matter to rise higher in column 31 until it reaches top 33 of column 31 and exit into chamber 30 of process unit 35. In some embodiments, top 33 of column 31 can further comprise sloped collar 32 disposed therearound whereby dried particulate matter exiting column 31 can slide down collar 32 to collect in chamber 31. The air flow can also exit process unit 35 by passing through vent 36 on top thereof. Dried particulate matter accumulating in funnel 37 of process unit 35 can be extracted through port 34 located at a bottom thereof. Referring to Figures 2 to 4, one embodiment of power unit 10 is shown. In some embodiments, power unit 10 can comprise enclosure 11 housing fan 18 powered by electric motor 19. Atmospheric air can be drawn into enclosure 11 by fan 18 through a chilling unit comprising evaporators 26, refrigerant tubing 28 and compressors 24, wherein atmospheric air can be drawn in through evaporators 26. In the illustrated embodiment, three compressors 24 can be used. The atmospheric air becomes chilled and, thus, dehumidified when it then passes through primary condenser coil 16. The chilled air is then heated by passing through heating coil 14 before it enters into frustoconical-shaped plenum 12. In some embodiments, power unit 10 can comprise secondary condensers 42 and secondary fan 40, which can be coupled in parallel with primary condenser coil 16 to assist when the load on the chilling unit is too great for primary condenser coil 16 to handle on its own. Heater 46 can heat a glycol solution that can be pumped through heating coil 14 by circulating pump 44 through solenoid- operated valves well known to those skilled in the art (not shown). In some embodiments, heater 46 can comprise a tankless-style water heater converted for use in a hydronic heating system, as well known to those skilled in the art.

In some embodiments, power unit 10 can comprise computer control unit 48 for monitoring and controlling the operation of system 100. In some embodiments, computer control unit 48 can comprise an 1 101 series AutomatedLogic™ programmable logic controller as manufactured by United Technologies Corp. of Farmington, Connecticut, U.S.A. In some embodiments, system 100 can comprise a number of sensors for monitoring temperature, pressure, humidity, fan motor speed and fan motor current draw, as well known to those skilled in the art, operatively coupled to computer control unit 48 for monitoring the operation of system 100 at various locations therein. In some embodiments, computer control unit 48 can monitor: the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant used in evaporators 26; the speed of fan motor 19 and secondary fan 40; the current draw of fan motor 19 and secondary fan 40; the pressure and temperature of refrigerant in primary condenser 16 and secondary condenser 42; the superheat temperature of evaporators 26; the sub-cooling temperature of primary condenser 16 and secondary condenser 42; the humidity of air flow in plenum 12; the air temperature in plenum; and the humidity and air temperature within process unit 35 at top 33 of column 31 , among others as well known to those skilled in the art. By monitoring the data received from these sensors, computer control unit 48 can control the refrigerant flow rate in the chilling unit by controlling the speed of compressors 24 via a variable frequency drive ("VFD") control unit (not shown) as well known to those skilled in the art, as well as being able to control the volume of air flowing through system 100 by controlling the motor speed of fan motor 19 and secondary fan motor 40 via VFD control (not shown) as well known to those skilled in the art, in addition to controlling the amount of heating performed by heating coil 14 by controlling the speeding of recirculating pump 44 via VFD control (not shown) as well as controlling solenoid-operated valves (not shown) for controlling the flow of glycol through heater 46 and pump 44, all well known to those skilled in the art. Thus, depending on the type of particulate matter to be dried, the operational parameters of system 100 can be set accordingly by configuring computer control unit 48 to operate to achieve the specific needs for drying the particulate matter to a predetermined or desired moisture content.

In some embodiments, the process carried out by the improved grain dryer can include the following steps. Starting with atmospheric air at ambient temperature and relative humidity, that air can be dehumidified to a designated or predetermined low relative humidity, and can then be heated to a designated or predetermined temperature suitable for drying, but not cooking, the target feedstock particles. Typically, these conditions, after dehumidification and heating, can result in air that is at about 96-120°F, and about 2% relative humidity. The flow of the dried, heated air can be used as a transport medium and force (that is, a fluidized transport) to move wet (or relatively moisture-laden) feedstock particles in a stream mixed with the air from particle holding means 20 to process chamber 30 of the grain dryer. Similarly, once the particles reach their target moisture content and are removed from process column 31 , airflow can be used to fluidize the particles to move them to a collection means operatively coupled to port 34 for further handling, storage or packaging.

In some embodiments, the height of process column 31 can range from 12 to 16 feet high, depending upon the desired treatment capacity, airflow velocities, input hopper sizes and the like. It has further been found that this height of process chamber 30, at relatively high air velocities during treatment, permits the particles to have a dwell time in the airflow sufficient to reduce their moisture content in a very short time period, permitting high treatment volumes of flowing fluidized particulate matter through process chamber 30 in a continuous process. In some embodiments, the dwell times can be typically short, and can be in the realm of milliseconds. Since fluidized flow is relatively gentle as a handling method for the particulate feedstock being treated, many different types of particles can be treated. For instance: any grain, pulse, rice, corn or corn product, such as wheat, barley, canola, corn, beans, peas, lentils and the like. Similarly, other particles as well known to those skilled in the art can be suitable for treatment using the apparatus described herein. These same gentle, low process mechanical forces can permit the handling of more delicate particles, crops and process feedstocks as well known to those skilled in the art. The low temperatures, and indirect application of heat, mean that the process equipment and the included particles being treated are not at or near combustion temperatures, so that fewer safety and insurance concerns arise. Drying is relatively uniform due to the intermingling of high-speed dry-heated air with the feedstock being treated. Clumping of the particulate matter can be avoided, as each particle can be is separately dried as a result of temperatures being controlled automatically. Dwell time can be adjusted by adjusting airflow rates (velocity, volumes), temperatures, and injection rates of particles into the airflow in the process chamber, column height or cross-section, for example. These variables can be dynamically adjusted in reaction to designed output conditions (temperature and/or humidity of ejected re- humidified air, of dried particles' weight/density/moisture content, or of other process parameters). The process apparatus can provide a single-pass continuous process, without mechanical handling means (augers, belts, etc.), and can be further compact and lightweight, and relatively quiet in operation. By using heat exchange means to collect heat from the dehumidifier and output process air, and using that collected heat in other spots in the apparatus (perhaps to heat the dehumidified air, or to preheat the particles), the apparatus can be made energy-efficient. In some embodiments, the use of insulation means can reduce heat losses at various parts of the device (around the process chamber, for example). Pneumatic, fluidized transport reduces mechanical components required for particle handling. This reduces cost, maintenance, jamming and production interruptions, and reduces impacts on the treated particles.

As noted, the functioning of the system can be modulated and controlled automatically to increase and enhance production efficiencies, energy and cost savings. The variables to be controlled and measured can be controlled and measured using simple electronic sensors, variable power supplies to different components of equipment, adjustment of components, and simple computing to automate the processes and systems. Computing resources can be controlled, watched, and configured as required, remotely (if the system is connected to a communications network such as the internet), and its operation and efficiencies can be monitored. Preventive maintenance can be scheduled based upon use and any diagnostics embedded in the apparatus, and this can be done remotely.

When grain is introduced into the medium of dry warm air, the grain can start releasing its moisture within milliseconds. As grain loses moisture, the mass of the grain decreases, which enables the grain to be conveyed to the drying chamber. The percentage of moisture content is based on weight of the grain, not time or energy, as the process is really quick, in realm of milliseconds per bushel. Therefore, the difference between 40% moisture removal and 5% moisture removal is negligible.

All particulate dryers work on the principal of moisture migration. The greater the difference between dew point and wet bulb temperature of the particles, the faster the moisture migrates. In traditional grain dryers, grain has to overcome the saturation of the heated air due to high moisture in the air, which has been treated by, for example, capturing exhaust air of a propane flame in air flow, introducing heat as well as the products of combustion (Natural Gas 1 1 .87 Gallons/1 MBTU). Therefore, the grain has to be taken above water's boiling point to dry. Thus, we have time and BTU drying charts in the prior art.

In some embodiments, system 100 can reduce the dew point to 33°F. As we increase the air medium temperature to 120°F, the dew point differential becomes 57°F wet bulb. We know according to Holman and Page (1948), reported by Hukill (1974), the moisture migration rate is (retention) at 120°F, and the dew point differential of 1 °wb is 0.322 milliseconds. With a 57°wb differential, the moisture migration rate decreases to 0.094 milliseconds per pound of dry air.

Mt ~ Me = E -Kt»

Mo - Me

According to prior art documents in the literature, (The use of fans in Pneumatic Conveyance), Martin Rhodes (2001 ) Jacob Fruchtbaum (1988), grains at 50 lbs/ft 3 can be conveyed at a velocity of 5000 ft/min. Corn can be conveyed at a velocity of 5600 ft/min by airflow.

We know that to calculate velocity:

_ 576(CF )

n(Diameter 2 )

With a CFM of 1500, and a diameter of 7 inches, we can calculate the velocity out to 5,612 ft/min, therefore grain can be conveyed using a fan capable of 1500 CFM.

According to the International Journal of Agriculture and Biology (2006), terminal velocities decrease as moisture content decreases. Therefore, conveyance of wet grain is irrelevant. Conveyed velocity must be attuned to desired moisture content, if using pneumatic conveyance calculated at desired moisture content. We know that dry air has a mass of 0.07496 Ibs./cu ft. Therefore, at 1500 cfm, we have an air mass flow rate of 1 12.44 Ibs./min. We know the qualities of air at 120°F dry, is capable of absorbing 3,738 gallons of water per pound of dry air (100% saturation). Therefore, the amount of moisture that the conditioned air can absorb is 420 gal/min. We know that the heaviest grain is 60 lbs per bushel (Ibs/bu). For 1500 bu/hr, we are conveying 25 bu/min. We also know that there are 8.33 lbs/gallon of water in the mix. Therefore, at 10% moisture content, only 150 lbs of water a minute must be removed to achieve this flow capacity in a fluidized flow. lS00bu/hr

x (60/b/bii) x 0.1(Q33gal/lb) = lQgal of H 2 0/min

60hr/min

Therefore, we can conclude using this math, that 1500 cfm is more than capable of removing 10% moisture content and more. Also, an air blowing fan from Delhi™ in the design of system 100, with a 7.5 HP motor, is very capable of providing the necessary 1500 cfm.

Fan

The fan can be a reverse incline fan able to withstand high static pressure; also utilizing a variable frequency drive, can produce between 1000 cfm and 1700 cfm.

Dehumidification Coil

A 4 pass coil in an embodiment of condenser coil 16 can maintain a 26°F temperature, and will require 36,000 to 42,000 btu/hr to maintain this temperature. This can be controlled by a modulated expansion valve and a variable frequency drive compressor. This can produce a relative humidity of .5% to .7%, and a dew point of 32°F.

Heating Coil

A 5 pass coil at 190°F in an embodiment of heating coil 14 can be considered adequate. Outside air temperature is assumed, for this purpose, to be at 32°F. Total temperature drop across coil is 20°F, Total BTU/HR required 244,000.

Pneumatic Conveyance

Each grain or seed has a terminal velocity according to Saltation tables, where the product is picked up and floated. As we lower the grain mass, the velocity of the air will lift the grain. In this way, by adjusting the velocity of the equilibrium or the height or cross-section of the column, the moisture content of the grain controls when it is ejected. By changing the velocity or the column, or any other equilibrium-related variable, the type of grain or oil seed and targeted moisture content is selected. Equilibrium Properties

Designed for 32°F ambient air, in Alberta this has a relative humidity of 50% (each province, state and country has its own relative humidity, generally speaking). ASHRAE would be consulted for proper relative humidity decreased to 30%, the dew point is 82%, so we may extract humidity down to 0.5% or 0.7% at 170°F, which is 190°F less 20°F differential across the coil. This can lower the dew point of the grain to almost 0°F. The latent heat value is now lowered from 3,870 BTU/LB/hr to 270 BTU/LB/hr. The total amount of energy required to dry from 24% is in the range of 18,068 BTU/FT 3 /hr, compared to 224,532 BTU/FT 3 /hr using conventional means. Properties of Grain

All grains increase in weight proportionate to moisture content (M.C.). Once grain exceeds 104°F, the quality of the grain decreases substantially. If grain is left in a bin at 104°F and higher, the grain will lose its germination quality by as much as 35%. By drying the grain at 96.6°F, it gives us the ability to overshoot this target temperature a couple of degrees without damage to the grain. Pneumatic Conveyance uses mass instead of density to calculate terminal velocity. Therefore, there is a difference in density in grain that is 24% M.C. compared with grain that is related to dried at 12% M.C; the difference in mass is constant, so the mass calculated can be the mass of the grain with zero moisture and as we add moisture to the equation, it is calculated at the mass of the water. Therefore, as we calculate the specific heat of grain, we need also to calculate the specific heat of water which has a specific heat of 1 BTU/lb/hr and grain at which has a specific heat value of 0.05 BTU/lb/hr.

Oil Seeds

As established with grains, we calculate terminal velocity with mass, not density. Again, using pneumatic conveyance, which bases terminal velocity on mass instead of density, as the mass decreases, terminal velocity decreases. Dryer Operation

The dryer uses a three-tier process, each component dries within itself.

1. Heating to 96.6°F

2. Pneumatic Conveyance

3. Dry Air

The combination of all three makes the Phoenix Dryer a very efficient drying process with current technology, and gives operational control over end-point moisture content. The drying process can be adapted to any grain or seed at any moisture content with a simple program change. Each granule enters into the flowing dehum idified heated airflow medium. As grain temperature increases, the temperature transfers energy to the grain, and the grain will sweat to equalize moisture between the grain and the atmosphere. This process takes seconds or less. As each grain equalizes with the equilibrium, the equilibrium will increase humidity, but the granule will lighten and the saltation effects carry the grain up the drying column and out into bin 30. Once it reaches the bin, the velocity drops and the granule and grain is poured out into the holding bin (not shown). On the top of vessel 30, there can be vent 36, which can allow high humidity air from the drying process escape to the atmosphere.

As the now humid air leaves the dryer, the humid air will want to condense at the top of the outside of the bin. This moisture can be collected and sent to a cistern to be stored.

Cooling Period

Once the grain has left the drying chamber, the grain can settle in chamber 30. At this time, the grain will begin its cooling process, which will happen naturally from the stack effect of the humid air leaving the bin through vent 36, thus, creating a cooling effect of the entire bin. Extraction

As the grain settles in process unit 35, the grain can be extracted from the bin at the bottom of the bin through tube 34. The grain can also be extracted from this holding bin at any time. Because the grain never exceeds 96.6°F, the integrity of the grain is never fragile, and can, therefore, be pulled out of bin 30.

Although a few embodiments have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made to these embodiments without changing or departing from their scope, intent or functionality. The terms and expressions used in the preceding specification have been used herein as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, it being recognized that the invention is defined and limited only by the claims that follow.