Effectiveness of the solar biomass hybrid dryer for drying and disinfestation of maize

A. Bosomtwe, J. K. Danso, E. A. Osekre, G. P. Opit, G. Mbata, P. Armstrong, F. H. Arthur, J. Campbell, N. Manu, S. G. McNeill, J. O. Akowuah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Solar Biomass Hybrid Dryer (SBHD) is a new technology developed in Ghana for grain drying and utilizes biomass (agro-residues, timber scraps, etc.) along with solar drying, and is especially useful for drying during rainy periods of the year when solar drying cannot be relied on. This study assessed the effectiveness of a 5.0-MT SBHD comprising a solar tent and a furnace for thermal drying and disinfestation of maize. Mortalities of adults of Sitophilus zeamais (Motschulsky), Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) and Cryptolestes ferrugineus Stephens were assessed. Additionally, mortalities of immatures of these three species were assessed. Internal and cage temperatures (°C) in the SBHD, sun drying (SD) and laboratory (control) were monitored, as were moisture content (MC) and thermally (stress) damaged kernels (TDK) (%). During the 7-h experiment, mean internal temperatures in the SBHD, SD and laboratory were 52.3 ± 1.0 °C, 41.4 ± 0.8 °C and 30.3 ± 0.2 °C, respectively. Similarly, temperatures in cages in the SBHD (49.5 ± 1.0 °C) were higher than those for cages in the laboratory (29.9 ± 0.2 °C) and SD (38.2 ± 0.6 °C). Reduction in the moisture content of maize dried using SBHD, SD and under laboratory conditions were 7.7, 5.2 and 2.9%, respectively. This corresponded to grain MC reduction rates of 1.1%, 0.74% and 0.4% per hour. There was 100% mortality of S. zeamais and C. ferrugineus adults achieved in only the SBHD; some immatures of all three species survived in all three treatments. However, survival of immatures was highest in the laboratory, followed by SD and lowest in the SBHD for all three species. Percent TDK was higher in the SBHD (6.7 ± 0.9) than SD (3.3 ± 0.3) and laboratory (2.7 ± 0.3). These data show that the SBHD is effective for both drying and disinfestation of grain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Stored Products Research
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the sponsors of this project, USDA-American Soybean Association’s (ASA) World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Program (Grant No. 2-5-10100 ) and USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss (PHLIL) (Grant No. 2-5-18880 ). We also thank Mr. Kwame Akosa for availing the SBHD in his poultry farm for this study. This paper reports results of research only. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by USDA-ASA-WISHH, USAID PHLIL, USDA ARS, Oklahoma State University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Fort Valley State University, or University of Kentucky. USDA ARS is an equal opportunity employer.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Food security
  • Post-harvest system
  • Solar biomass dryer
  • Thermal disinfestation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science
  • Horticulture


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