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Technology transfer

April 8, 2010
By Doug Root

AURI senior scientist

One of AURI's primary purposes is to identify technologies that have the potential to benefit Minnesota agriculture. As innovations emerge, AURI works to get them into the hands of people who can use them to add value to the state's agricultural products and coproducts. Sometimes an innovation in a relatively simple process, like drying, can be applied in several agricultural processing segments. By working with agri-processors who are looking for ways to increase capacity or efficiency, AURI can get new technology into several market segments as quickly as possible.

Among the areas generating a tremendous amount of interest is the use of biomass. Several innovative drying technologies that could benefit agri-processors looking to utilize biomass for various applications will be demonstrated at an upcoming event sponsored by AURI. The event takes place Thursday, May 13, in Benson.

The event includes presentations on each of the drying processes, followed by a demonstration of one of the technologies on a several different feedstocks. The highlighted processes include a high speed air drying system, microwave drying technology, a belt dryer for high moisture products and high efficiency dryer that uses recycled heat.

"Drying tends to be a bottleneck in many biomass applications," says scientist Kevin Hennessy, who works with AURI's coproduct utilization program in Waseca. "Drying tends to be a very expensive step, so new technologies that could potentially reduce those costs and function more efficiently would be very attractive."

Hennessy says new drying technologies could be of interest for using biomass for energy, processing of manure digester solids, producing animal bedding from coproducts or many other materials. The meeting will be at McKinney's Restaurant in Benson.

For more information or to register for the drying demonstration event, contact Kevin Hennessy at or at 507-835-8990. For more information on what AURI has to offer, go to or give us a call at 507-537-7440.



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