Moisture Content Analysis for Ethanol Feed Stock

This paper discusses the use of DDGS and wet distillers’ grains as a source of potential bridge feedstock for ethanol production.  Typically DDGS and wet distillers’ grains are used as animal feed where the analysis of feed quality centers around its nutritional value.  With the increasing uptake of ethanol as fuel the analysis takes a new approach in that it makes a more thorough chemical analysis of the stock.  The paper makes recommendations on a detailed procedure for the complete compositional analysis of the stock.  This includes analysis of moisture with a moisture analyzer, starch, cellulose, xylan, and so on.

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Moisture Balance Helps Test Compost Moisture Content

Moisture Analyzer for Compost Testing
Moisture Analyzer for Compost Testing

The use of compost is increasing with the growth in demand for organically grown food.  Composting however has a dark underbelly.  If done improperly it can result in the retention of pathogenic bacteria harmful to humans.  This in turn will (and has) result in food borne illnesses which ironically is what the organic food movement is trying to avoid.  In the past, researchers have used ammonia supplementation and irradiation to reduce pathogenic activity.  This study looks at the use of bacteriophages in reducing Salmonella with successful results.  Within 4 hours of treatment a ‘2-log-unit reduction of Salmonella’ was observed. As usual we’d like to note the use of the moisture analyzer in measuring moisture in samples.

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Halogen Moisture Balance Superior to Ceramic Analyzers or Ovens

In this study they evaluated the performance of two digital (or electronic) moisture analyzers for measuring moisture content in small amounts less than or equal to 200mg.  A wide variety of samples were used including soil, sediments, leaves, peat, needles, and sewage sludge.  In addition to that they also used a range of ‘biological reference materials’. They tested both halogen and ceramic heaters that had a balance resolution of 0.1 mg.  Standardized procedures were used to eliminate any bias.  The results are telling: the halogen moisture analyzer performed better while the ceramic heater’s results were inferior and equivalent to that obtained through oven drying.


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Moisture Balance Aids Quality Assurance in Ethanol Production

Since we are on the subject of extracting fuel from DDGS residues I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at the entire production process of ethanol. This video gives a good overview. And right at about 2:20 we have the explanation that shows how we get the DDGS residues. These by products are either sold as livestock feed or further processed to extract residual fuel. In any event, what I’d like to note is the role of moisture analyzers. While not directly mentioned in this video, moisture analyzers are critical to ensuring quality and an integral part of the production process.… Read the rest

Moisture Balance for An Alien Planet – Amazing Space Tech

Moisture analyzers on earth can use gravimetric methods like loss on drying to measure the moisture content in a sample.  However, what do you do when you need to measure atmospheric moisture content and that too on a different planet?  This paper examines the working of the moisture meter used in the spacecraft Vega 1 and 2 sent to Venus.  This is another fascinating insight into space technology.  Consider that the spaceships have to travel through space before plunging into the Venusian atmosphere.  Sensors and other instruments are built to withstand the harsh extremes of temperatures in space. That in itself is a feat of engineering par none.

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Moisture Balance Helps Test Alkali Hydroxide Absorbents for Color Change

Alkali Hydroxide Absorbents Change Color Independent
Alkali Hydroxide Absorbents Change Color Independent of Their Moisture Content

This study tried to establish a correlation between the presence/absence of moisture and color change in alkali hydroxide and alkali hydroxide free absorbents.  Samples of both types of absorbents were tested using a moisture analyzer.  The moisture content was determined and the color change during drying was observed.  It was noted that color change did not happen even when the water retention was higher in the absorbents.  However it was observed that with increasing concentrations of Alkali Hydroxide the color change on drying was delayed.

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Be Cautious When Using Loss on Drying Moisture Analysis for DDGS

Be Cautious with the Moisture Analysis Method
Be Cautious with the Moisture Analysis Method Use Use for Corn Distillers Dried Grain with Solubles

Moisture analysis methods need careful consideration as this study reveals.  14 standard gravimetric methods were used to quantify the variability of moisture content results in corn distillers dried grains with solubles.  The test results from each of these methods were compared with the Karl Fischer titration method and the percent deviation noted.  A halogen moisture analyzer was also used to measure moisture in three fuel ethanol plant samples.  The results were telling: Moisture content determined by the different LoD (loss on drying) methods were significantly different.  Interestingly, the percentage deviation decreased at lower drying temperatures, while drying time was also seen to have some impact.  To eliminate erroneous readings and conclusions, they study recommends caution when using LoD for moisture analysis of distillers dried grains with solubles.

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A Novel Design for Natural Gas Moisture Analysis

Daniel Industries (DI) has released a technical note on the measurement of moisture in natural gas.  There are numerous ways of measuring moisture in gases. These include dew point, electrolysis and gas chromatography, among others.  The key point of the note is the development of novel electrolytic methods for both calibration and on-line measurement (which is ideal for process control).

Briefly, the electrolytic sensor has two wire-electrodes wrapped around an insulating core. A fine layer of phosphoric oxide (PO) fills the space between the wires. The PO absorbs moisture, creating a current proportional to the extent of moisture in the gas. The modified designs show exceptional linearity, making for both easy calibration and accurate measurement.

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How to Use a Moisture Analyzer for Dry Bulk Powders

The moisture content of virtually any product on the market has a bearing on the product’s quality, shelf life and a host of other considerations.   Ideal moisture content varies, of course, with the product under consideration.  Ideal moisture content is determined by and in some cases governed by industry associations and regulatory authorities.  Proof of compliance is eased when a moisture analyzer is employed on a regular basis as batches are prepared for packaging, whatever the product, and records are kept.

Moisture analyzers such as the Kern models offered by Tovatech operate on the thermogravimetric principle using halogen heaters in combination with an analytical balance to precisely determine the percentage of moisture in a sample during a programmed testing cycle.  Simply stated the sample is weighed before moisture analysis begins, and after the cycle is completed. The loss in weight is the moisture content.

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