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Pelleting of Fractionated Alfalfa Products

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  036069,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13909) @2003
Authors:   P. K. Adapa, G.J. Schoenau, L.G. Tabil, S. Sokhansanj and B. Crerar
Keywords:   Fractionation, dehydrated alfalfa, pelleting, hardness, durability, color, particle size

A pilot scale pellet mill was used to produce pellets using ground alfalfa leaf and stem fractions. The moisture content of the dehydrated alfalfa chops was 9.6% (wet basis). The leaf and stem fractions were segregated into two lots and ground in a hammer mill using two screen sizes of 3.2 mm (1/8 in.) and 1.98 mm (5/64 in.). The leaf and stem fractions from each sample lot of same grind sizes were combined to get five different samples with leaf content ranging from 0% to 100% with an increment of 25%. The moisture content and temperature of the samples were raised to 10- 11% (w.b.) and 76oC, respectively, in a double chamber steam conditioner prior to pelleting operation. Material temperature was further raised to 95oC in the pellet mill due to the friction between its roller-die assembly. During this whole process the average particle size of sample lots, temperature and moisture content of samples after various pelleting stages were recorded. Durability of dehydrated alfalfa fluctuated between high and medium range (except for 100% stems, which was low). Dehydrated alfalfa with 0% leaves produced pellets with better color.

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