High-Protein DDG: Higher-Value Co-products from 1st-Generation Biofuels

Distillers Dried Grains are a product of renewable energy and biofuels production from corn, wheat, or other cereal feedstocks. After the consumption of starch for conversion to alcohol, the remaining nutrient-rich grain fractions and solubles can be used in animal feed, fertilizer, or other applications. As animal-feed, conventional Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS) can be dried in Dedert's ring dryers, rotary dryers, steam dryers, or in a Swiss-Combi EcoDryTM system.

As the market trends toward higher value sustainable protein sources and expanded applications in aquaculture and other industries, specialized processes have been developed to further separate the grain fractions to produce higher protein products with improved bioavailability and more digestible amino acids. These high-protein DDG products with a protein content approaching 50% or more tend to have cohesive characteristics. Rotary-type dryers are therefore ineffective since they promote balling which results in inconsistently varying particle sizes that may be too large for some applications. Feed conditioning and mixing also needs to be carefully designed to prevent the formation of hardened agglomerates which affect dryer behavior and performance.

These challenging high-protein DDG products are almost exclusively dried on Dedert ring dryers, a result of our extensive expertise in consultative engineering, R&D, product testing, pilot plant validation, and process design. With a short residence time, ring drying prevents exposure of the solids in the high-heat environment to only a few seconds which results in the highest product quality compared to product from other drying technologies. The versatility of the ring dryer design also accommodates variations in product grades and characteristics, including changes in moisture content, evaporation rate, and product composition that could affect drying behavior.

To optimize the overall operations for energy-efficiency, the complete ring drying system would be integrated with the following technologies:
  • PGR Ring Dryer: energy efficiency is achieved by recirculating the majority of the dryer exhaust stream back to the air heater as a preheated drying medium. This configuration also reduces the vent stream sent to the emissions-control device.
  • Gas Heat Evaporator: the free energy from the high-humidity PGR ring dryer is recovered in a Gas Heated Evaporator (GHE) used for concentrating grain-solubles. Dedert's proven GHE technology also removes fine particulates and saturates the stream to maximize the evaporator's performance, which eliminates the need for a wet scrubber and reducing the vent stream sent to the emissions-control device.

Connect with us to learn more about drying high-protein DDG, conventional DDGS, or other applications!

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