Maximizing Pellet Quality/Production Rate
The addition of binders can help solve pellet quality problems or simply lift your pellet quality to a
higher plane. Lignin technology has advanced rapidly over the past few years so much so that
collectively Lignins have become known as "Lignin Performance Enhancers." Some have been
developed to maximize pellet quality, while others to maximize production of the pellet press without
compromising pellet quality.
When used to maximize pellet quality (as well as improving production rate) the glue-like properties
of lignin maximize the grip between rollers, meal and die making the action of pelleting more positive
i.e., reducing roller slip. As the pellets lose moisture in the cooler, the lignin structure within them
toughens and strengthens, resulting in pellets of higher durability.
On the other hand, lignins have been developed to maximize production rate (as well as improving
pellet quality) by creating "internal body lubrication" which allows the meal particles to mold together
more easily, thereby forming pellets with improved structure. Moreover, lubrication extends to the die
allowing for higher production rate without losing pellet quality.
Lignin is a cost effective tool which can be used
to overcome production and pellet quality
problems or as a means to improve overall
efficiency. Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 show a pellet press
amperage trace recording when producing a
commercial poultry feed. During a three hour
production run, the pellet press operator
encountered 12 complete chokes and 13
interruptions until a 0.5% addition of a specifically
formulated lignin production performance enhancer
was made. Amperage was immediately reduced
and production ran smoothly from then on.
Moreover, production rate increased from 13.2
to 16.1 tons/hour, specific energy consumption
was reduced from 11.36 to 10 kWh/T and pellet
durability increased from 52 to 62 Holmen. The
extra tonnage improved the profitability of this
mill by $50 per hour.
Table 5/Fig 3 show a similar effect when producing 4 mm Tilapia.
Measurement Of Physical Pellet Quality
"Hardness" , "Durability " and "Appearance" are the main factors associated with the term pellet quality.
Hardness is usually measure by a spring type tester. It is advisable to take the average of several
readings because of the variability in results.
Durability is the most important aspect
of pellet quality. Durability means the
ability of pellets to withstand the rigors
of handling and delivery without breaking
It can be measured in one of two
- Tumbling Can Method or
"? Holman Tester and Ligno Tester
Appearance is mainly subjective, color, surface texture etc., pellet length, however, an important
aspect when a customer makes a visual assessment of your product, can be measured. The generally
accepted guideline for a pellet length is 2.5 times its diameter. Measuring average pellet weight is
becoming a common method of monitoring changes in pellet quality, by taking a random sample,
weighing and counting the pellets to determine average weight, serves to detect changes in pellet
length as well as pellet density.
A "Troubleshooting" route in block form provides a summary to help direct you to a speedy solution
of pellet quality/production problems you may encounter.
Measuring/monitoring the performance of your plant will enable you to manage it effectively and
provide a means of speedily troubleshooting production or pellet quality problems. Moreover, combining
your production knowledge with Lignin Technology will enable you to truly maximize pellet quality and
production performance, profitably.