Feed moisture, retention time, and steam as quality and energy utilization determinants in the pelleting process Academic Article uri icon


  • Pelleting of animal feed occurs extensively throughout the feed manufacturing industry and steam conditioning plays an important role in this process. We investigated the effects of mash moisture, retention time, and steam quality in two conditioners (manufactured by California Pellet Mill (CPM) Co. and Bliss Industries) on pellet quality, electrical energy consumption, and steam flow rate during the pelleting process. Results of this study indicated that pellet quality, energy consumption, and steam flow were significantly related to mash moisture (12 and 14%), retention time (short and long), steam quality (70, 80, 90, and 100%), and their interactions in mash conditioned to a constant 82.2 C. The maximum pellet quality (88% pellet durability) was achieved with two combinations of steam quality and retention time (70%-short retention time, 80%-long retention time)for the 14% moisture mash using the CPM conditioner. A long retention time resulted in the lowest energy consumption (kWh/t) during pellet production for the 12% moisture mash with the Bliss conditioner. Feed conditioned to 82.2 C using 100% quality steam required a lower flow rate (kg/h) than did the 70% quality steam for both conditioners. As competitive pressures continue in the global feed business, this study augments the manufacturers' knowledge of how to control this capital intensive cost center.

published proceedings

  • Applied Engineering in Agriculture

author list (cited authors)

  • Gilpin, A. S., Herrman, T. J., Behnke, K. C., & Fairchild, F. J.

complete list of authors

  • Gilpin, AS||Herrman, TJ||Behnke, KC||Fairchild, FJ

publication date

  • May 2002