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HYDRODYNAMIC SEPARATION OF GRAIN AND STOVER COMPONENTS IN CORN SILAGE

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

Citation:  Paper number  036086,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15402)
Authors:   Philippe Savoie, Kevin J. Shinners, Ben N. Binversie
Keywords:   Corn silage, corn grain, stover, separation, biomass, sieving, drying

The objective of this work was to evaluate the potential of hydrodynamic separation with water to sort corn grain from stover after ensiling. In a first experiment, the specific gravity of dried intact grain was found to be significantly higher (1305 kg DM/m) than that of dried chopped stalk and leaf (average 635 kg DM/m) or dried chopped husk and cob (average 826 kg DM/m). However, when all material was ground, there was no significant difference between the five components (average 1546 kg DM/m). In a second experiment, mixing fresh silage in water resulted in partial segregation of grain from stover, achieving a grain concentration as high as 75% in the sunk material when silage had a relatively low moisture content (64% MC) but as low as 41% when silage was relatively wet (74% MC). In a third experiment, partial drying to remove 20 percentage units of moisture prior to water separation increased grain concentration to 92% while complete drying increased grain concentration to more than 99%. Sieving increased grain concentration to 79%. In an industrial setting, hydrodynamic separation of silage with minimal pre-treatment could provide a feedstock with a high concentration of grain (75 to 80%). In a laboratory setting, hydrodynamic separation with prior oven drying could provide a method to separate grain from stover in corn silage by reaching a grain concentration higher than 99%.

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