The Quintas biomass hot air dryers/dehydrators are designed to dry agricultural produce when harvested.
This simple device does without complicated temperature and flow controls and can be assembled on site with the capacity to burn approx. 7.06 kg biomass per hour. The dried goods can then be packaged for sale.
The technology is straightforward: Flue gases from the gasifier are made to pass through a heat exchanger from which heat energy is transferred to the incoming fresh air from the blower. The spatial separation of the flue gases and fresh air in the heat exchanger allows an indirect heating process producing pollution-free hot air. It is this clean hot air that is delivered into the drying chamber and used to dry grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables chips, and other agricultural goods to the desired moisture content before packaging. The fact that there is a complete separation of dry material from the drying gases is a positive feature of this product.
Drying and preserving agricultural produce efficiently is a challenge in developing regions. The technologies are often sophisticated and cannot be assembled or repaired on site; in fact food often spoils before drying is carried out. This biomass hot air dryer/dehydrator can dry grains, beans, mash, fruits and vegetables enabling this produce to be sold. Taking on two challenges in one device, the company tackles the problems arising in energy and food preservation.
In Nigeria agriculture provides job for about 70% of the workers accounting for 22.5% of the nation’s gross domestic product and about 82% of total food consumption. Empirical studies show that about 40% of agricultural produce in Nigeria is lost as post-harvest wastage. This is because farmers often reside in rural areas with a lack of clean energy, potable water and good road networks; these farmers rely on sun drying as the major means of preservation of their harvests, with its attendant exposure to contamination and vagaries of weather. If the food begins to rot, peasant farmers then have to sell their goods at the buyers’ price. This category of famers amounts to over 50 million people in Nigeria. If they had access to the dryers to process agro-products, it would improve the storage life of such produce and remove pressure on them for quick sales.
Statistics from the IEA in 2012 show that in Nigeria in 2009, 84.9% of energy consumption came from biomass. The technology traditionally used to extract heat has between 3-12% efficiency compared to gasification technology which has over 65% biomass heat extraction efficiency. Agro-residue resulting from harvest and agro-processing is approx.156 million tons. This is an energy equivalent of about 2,200 gigajoule* and this excludes biomass from forest residue, municipal wastes and animal wastes, which are all important energy sources.
This technology aims to provide efficient and cheap heat energy source for agro-processing at the farm gate, reduce deforestation and provide an effective and efficient means of disposal of biomass wastes. It further reduces smoke and particulate emissions by using biomass products and contaminations resulting from sun drying procedures, including growth of mould that create disease are lessened.
* Simonyan and Fasina
The product is manufacured for 2,435 USD and is sold at 3,500 USD. The target population needing the product in Nigeria is in excess of 80 million people.
Quintas aims to promote efficient biomass energy generation equipment and the adaptation of solar energy products to meet the needs of people in the rural Nigeria. The funds used to run this organisation are from the share capital of the company, funds injection in form of loans from the promoters and proceeds from sales of goods and services.
The company approaches the market in three different ways. Deployment of the products to the company’s farm gate industrial setups: Not only are Nigerians unfamiliar with the concept of using renewable energy sources, it is also too expensive. The company determines the viability of agro-processing set-ups in a given community. Once the process is set in motion, they start a gradual deployment of equipment to start a cluster agro-processing industry in selected villages. They begin by purchasing raw materials for processing and later use barter trade by taking 20-25% of processed goods. They then package processed products for sale in the cities for economic returns
The company also enables direct sales from their showroom. Customers include large-scale farmers and commodity merchants. They further work with sales distributors and partners to expand the reach of the product.
Quintas Hot Air dryer/dehydrator consists of:
- Gasifier stove
- Tubular heat exchanger
- Centrifugal air blower
- Drying Chamber and
- Electricity power source to device the dryer
Organization: Quintas Renewable Energy Solutions Ltd.
Contact: Omotayo Dairo
Used in: Nigeria