National Collateral Management Services Limited (NCML) is India’s leading organization providing a bouquet of commodity based services under a single umbrella. NCML offers modern, scientific and IT enabled storage and preservation services for the entire range of Agri commodities for growers across India. As agro products are seasonal in nature and need to be stored for longer durations, adoption of scientific storage practices are essential for minimizing the storage losses. NCML believes that its expertise and association with a large number of CMPs across the country would not only help in improving the storage efficiencies but also minimize the costs associated with storage of raw materials.
NCML Purnea is located in northeastern Bihar, India. The stretch from Purnia, north of the Ganga and on either side of the Kosi – emerged as a corn belt where many farmers, big and small, harvested 50 quintals or more per acre. That was comparable to the 180-200 bushel yields in the US Midwest heartland of Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. Hence the Purnea plant is capable to procure the fresh grain immediately after harvest and to handle it in large quantities. The plant is completely equipped with state of the art storage technology with a capacity to store a total of 42,000 metric tons of maize in 12 flat bottom silos of 3500 metric tons each.
In March 2017, NCML’s centralized technical team showed interest towards using grain chilling technology from Grain Technik Pvt. Ltd. The loading cycle of the silo at site would begin in the month of April and end with the beginning of monsoon in June. The ambient temperature range would be between 33°C – 43°C with ambient relative humidity between 60% to 85%. The main risks faced by NCML would be dry grain during extreme high temperatures if aeration fans are used, along with an increased risk of pests and high temperature related damages. During the monsoon time on the other hand, the risk would be to add moisture to the grain if aeration is not used properly.
Therefore, Grain Technik Pvt. Ltd. was invited for technical discussions for chilling the corn stored in silos at Purnea site right after loading the freshly harvested maize. The requirement was to cool the grain stored in the 3500T silos which is transferred into the silo after the drying process (grain temperature approx.37C and 14% moisture content). The desired storage conditions were required to be achieved in a short period of time, at the same time ensuring running costs of the grain chiller are kept low. Considering the grain was stored at 14% moisture content, it was extremely important that no moisture is added to the grain as even ambient RH of 83% would spoil the grain with molds and pests.
GrainTechnik offered its gT-250 to cool the silo size of 3500 MT. The unit was installed with a ‘Y’ piece adaptor to feed the chilled air in both double H type aeration channels of the silo. The aeration fan was removed and the fabricated adaptor was installed at site by Grain Technik trained technicians. The unit started on 19th June 2017 and within a week’s time was able to bring down the grain temperature from 37°C to 19°C inside the silo with 2200T of stored maize. Further running of the unit led to bringing down the grain bulk temperature to 16°C.
After cooling the silo, the grain temperature and moisture content was monitored for over 3 months (know more). The GT-250 proved to be an efficient tool to bring down the temperature as well as relative humidity to safe storage levels and met the performance parameters expected by NCML. A new unit with fixed insulated ducts has just been ordered by NCML on Grain Technik. NCML can now eliminate long term storage risks by using Grain Technik’s grain chilling technology.