Propane – an exceptional energy solution for agricultural crop drying.
Whether grain drying, tobacco curing or fruit drying, propane-powered drying systems help farmers get better prices for crops that must meet market specifications for moisture content. Moreover, 90% of the propane drawn from tanks is converted to energy – which means less waste and lower costs.
Grain drying is now an integral part of the farming operation, and propane is most often used to fuel heated-air drying systems because it is portable, can be easily stored, and is readily accessible in rural areas where natural gas is unavailable. And unlike fuel oil or kerosene, propane will not leak and contaminate the grain.
Propane grain dryers also limit fungus and bacterial growth and can allow farmers to harvest their crops with some flexibility, more independently of the weather.
Almost all bulk-curing barns built since the early 1970s are equipped with propane gas burners.
Many growers have switched from fuel oil to propane because propane systems are more efficient – propane gas and air mix better during combustion than fuel oil and air. This allows for a lower excess air setting on the gas burner and improves the efficiency of the system. On average, a well-maintained and operated barn will cure approximately 9 pounds of leaf per gallon of propane.
Dehydration is the process of driving free water from products like fruits, vegetables and nuts at accelerated rates and stabilizing them at low-moisture content without damage to the products. Propane is an excellent choice for fueling the burners of fruit dehydrators because of the following reasons:
- Propane is nontoxic and safe around food materials.
- Emissions from propane burners are significantly lower than those from oil-fueled burners.
- Propane can be stored for extended periods of time, while gasoline or diesel fuel tends to turn rancid.
- In contrast to gasoline or diesel fuel spills, which can contaminate water, land, and crops, any propane leak vaporizes instantly.