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                                 INDUSTRY PROFILE #9
                                STARCH, OIL, AND FEED
                                 FROM SORGHUM GRAIN
                                     Prepared By
                                   Peter K. Carrell
                                     Reviewed By
                                   Robert W. Batey
                                    Published By
            1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 500, Arlington, Virginia 22209 USA
                      Telephone:  (703) 276-1800, Fax:  (703) 243-1865
                           Telex:  440192 VITAUI, Cable:  VITAINC
                   Internet:, Bitnet:  vita@gmuvax
                         Starch, Oil, and Feed from Sorghum Grain
                                    ISBN:   0-86619-296-4
                       [C] 1987, Volunteers in Technical Assistance
                                   INDUSTRY PROFILES
This Industry Profile is one of a series briefly describing small or medium-sized industries.  The
Profiles provide basic information for starting manufacturing plants in developing nations.
Specifically, they provide general plant descriptions, financial, and technical factors for their
operation, and sources of information and expertise.   The series is intended to be useful in
determining whether the industries described warrant further inquiry either to rule out or to
decide upon investment.  The underlying assumption of these Profiles is that the individual
making use of them already has some knowledge and experience in industrial development.
Dollar values are listed only for machinery and equipment costs, and are primarily based on
equipment in the United States.   The price does not include shipping costs or import-export taxes,
which must be considered and will vary greatly from country to country.  No other investment
costs are included (such as land value, building rental, labor, etc.) as those prices also vary.
These items are mentioned to provide the investor with a general checklist of considerations for
setting up a business.
These profiles should not be substituted for feasibility studies.  Before an investment is made in
a plant, a feasibility study should be conducted.   This may require skilled economic and
engineering expertise.  The following illustrates the range of questions to which answers must
be obtained:
        *   What is the extent of the present demand for the product, and how is it now being
        *   Will the estimated price and quality of the product make it competitive?
        *   What is the marketing and distribution plan and to whom will the product be
        *   How will the plant be financed?
        *   Has a realistic time schedule for construction, equipment, delivery, obtaining
           materials and supplies, training of personnel, and the start-up time for the plant
           been developed?
        *   How are needed materials and supplies to be procured and machinery and
           equipment to be maintained and repaired?
        *   Are trained personnel available?
        *   Do adequate transportation, storage, power, communication, fuel, water, and
           other facilities exist?
        *   What management controls for design, production, quality control, and other
           factors have been included?
        *   Will the industry complement or interfere with development plans for the area?
        *   What social, cultural, environmental, and technological considerations must be
           addressed regarding manufacture and use of this product?
Fully documented information responding to these and many other questions should be
determined before proceeding with implementation of an industrial project.
                    Equipment Suppliers, Engineering Companies
The services of professional engineers are desirable in the design of industrial plants even though
the proposed plant may be small.   A correct design is one that provides the greatest economy in
the investment of funds and establishes the basis of operation that will be most profitable in the
beginning and will also be capable of expansion without expensive alteration.
Professional engineers who specialize in industrial design can be found be referring to the
published cards in various engineering magazines.   They may also be reached through their
national organizations.
Manufacturers of industrial equipment employ engineers familiar with the design and installation
of their specialized products.   These manufacturers are usually willing to give prospective
customers the benefit of technical advice by those engineers in determining the suitability of their
equipment in any proposed project.
Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) is a private, non-profit, volunteer organization
engaged in international development.   Through its varied activities and services, VITA fosters
self-sufficiency by promoting increased economic productivity.  Supported by a volunteer roster
of over 5,000 experts in a wide variety of fields, VITA is able to provide high quality technical
information to requesters.  This information is increasingly conveyed through low-cost advanced
communication technologies, including terrestrial packet radio and low-earth-orbiting satellite.
VITA also implements both long- and short-term projects to promote enterprise development and
transfer technology.
PREPARED BY:  Peter K. Carrell
REVIEWED BY:  Robert W. Batey
1.  The Product
The products are starch, oil, and feed made from sorghum grain.
Starch - With only 0.5 percent protein, it is not as high quality
as maize, potato, and rice starch.   Yet it is suitable for a wide
range of industrial and food uses.   Some of these include textile
sizing, adhesives for corrugated, paper, coatings, ingredient in
molding sand for foundries, foods, and laundry.   The range of uses
is extended by additions to the plant for chemical modification
of the starch.
Oil - It is unrefined vegetable oil that is high on unsaturates.
It is fit for all food oil uses after refining.
Feed - It comprises a mixture of fiber, spent oil cake from the
expeller, gluten, and steepwater.
2.  The Facility
This profile describes a small plant operating with three shifts
on a seven-day work schedule and processing about 200 tons of
sorghum a day.  Two shifts are down per week for maintenance.
This facility may be considered a heavy industry because of the
emission from the boiler and dryers and the noise from its high
speed machinery.
This industry is similar to the wet milling of maize and uses the
same basic technology for processing the sorghum grain.   The plant
is capable of providing a support infrastructural base for many
other industries, such as textile, paper, mining, oil drilling,
foundry, and livestock feed.   As a heavy industry, the plant will
require large amounts of capital, energy, and access to road and
rail transport.  It also will need a good supply of clean water
(1600 m3/day) to use as boiler feedwater and for processing and
cooling.  A stable supply of electric power is also needed as
unexpected outage may cause expensive delays in getting the
process on line.
1.  Outlook
    A.   Economic
The rate of profit in the industrialized nations is marginal due
to competition.  However in protected markets, the profit can be
between 10-20 percent.
    B.   Technical
2.  Manufacturing Equipment Flexibility
With minor modifications, it is possible to use the same equipment
to process other agricultural products, including maize,
cassava, broken rice, and wheat.
3.  Knowledge Base
The personnel must be highly trained, and the supervisory staff
must have both mechanical and chemical (including microbiology)
engineering backgrounds.
4.  Quality Control
With the machinery in good working order, the quality of the
products is ensured once the production process is carried on
according to standards.  If production and maintenance standards
are not maintained, it can result in microbiological growth and
product contamination, which may lead to nonacceptance of the
product.  Worst of all, a dust explosion may occur that may wreck
parts of the plant and possibly cause injury to personnel.  The
most common effect of a failure to follow maintenance standards
is higher operating costs and frequent outages.
5.  Constraints and Limitations
Dust emission may be objectionable unless new air drying technology
is used.  Danger from explosion is real because of organic
dusts.  Suitable safeguards in construction and operation are
required.  Waste loading from plant sanitation and cleaning, plus
accidental spills may overload a municipal system.   However,
connection to a municipal system through an equalization and
neutralization tank is recommended since the waste stream alone
is lacking in nutrients for the stable operation of an activated
sludge system.
1.  Users
Oil - As unrefined vegetable oil, it could be sold in bulk to a
firm that would then refine and market it to individuals and restaurants
as cooking or salad oil.  When treated with hydrogen, it
may be an ingredient in fats and spreads like margarine.
Feed - This is a feed stock used generally to feed animals.  It is
sold in bag and bulk.
Starch - This is similar to maize starch.   It is suitable for a
wide range of industrial and food uses, where a thick, boiling
starch is desired.  Sales may be in bag or bulk.
2.  Suppliers
The grain sorghum supply will come directly from farms or from
country elevators.
3.  Sales Channels and Methods
Sales of unrefined oil will be made directly to refiners.  Sales
of the feedstuffs will be made through local brokers or to
blenders of feeds.  Sales of starch will be to various users.
4.  Geographic Extent of Market
Markets for feeds are generally local or regional, but export is
feasible.  Sales could be made to enterprises based on fattening
animals for market or raising fowl by mass methods, or to farmers
when hay and silage are in short supply.   Sales of oil and starch
may be regional or for export.
5.  Competition
All of the products are standard commodities and are subject to
competition worldwide.  The success of the venture depends on the
isolation of the market by transport cost, tariff, or subsidy.
Some competition may come from local small-scale projects making
starch from cassava or white or sweet potato.   These operations
will produce crude material, but since the capital cost is so
low, they could be competitive in periods of depressed prices.
6.  Market Capacity
Because of the variety nature of the products, the market may be
national and international.
     Requirements                       Annual Output:
1.  Infrastructure, Utilities     Small Plant      Medium Plant
    Land                            6-7 Hectares     ___________
    Building                          4400 m2         _____________
    Power   140KW/Ton grind          28,000 kw/day   ____________
    Fuel   natural gas or oil     520,000,000 kcal/day
    Water   potable                     434 m3/day
           cooling                     4211 m3/day
    Sewer to municipal plant       200 m3/day at 2 Ton BOD
    Equalization basin             100 m3
2.   Major Equipment & Machinery  Small Plant      Medium Plant
     Tools & Machinery
     grain dryer
     elevators and conveyors
     steep tanks
     double runner mill
     germ hydroclones
     germ washing screenbends
     germ press; germ dryer
     oil expeller
     filter press
     pin mill
     screenbend fiber washing system
     fiber dryer
     disk stack centrifuges
     gluten filter (vacuum drum belt type)
     gluten dryer
      starch washing system of 13 stages of Dorrclones
     starch dewatering centrifuge with filtrate concentrator
     flash dryer
     Support equipment & parts
     truck and rail track scales
     grain storage bins for continuity of operation
     security and fire protection
     office and equipment
     locker rooms for labor
     mechanical and electrical shops with tools
     roads & rail, site storm drainage
     transformer and electric rooms
(for 200 ton a day plant (erected basis)     $38m      ______
(*) Based on $US 1987 prices.   The costs provided are estimates; they
are not intended to be used as absolute prices.   Costs still need
to be determined on a case by case basis.
3.  Materials & Supplies            Small Plant      Medium Plant
    Raw Materials
    sorghum grain,                   200 Tons
      12-15% moisture
    liquid sulfur dioxide           0.4 Tons
    Detergent, alkaline to
     ca. 10 pH for cleaning
    Multiwall 5-ply paper bags
     50 kg size
4.  Labor                            Small Plant   or  Medium Plant
    Superintendent                       1
    foremen                               3
    chief operators                      3
    chemist                               1
    lab technician                       1
    plant engr. & maint. supervisor      1
    general mechanics                    4
    electrician & instrument mechanic    1
    operators                             6
    loader                                1
    packers, warehouse, grounds, and
      cleaning                            8
    Management and Sales                 1
    Secretary                             1
    Bookkeeper                            1
    Store & shipping clerk               1
5.  Distribution/Supply flow        Small Plant     Medium Plant
    Amount in per day
    Amount out per day

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Unless otherwise stated, these addresses are in the United
1.  Technical Manuals & Textbooks
Hall, C.W. (1981).  Drying and Storage of Agricultural Crops.
AVI. 1981.
National Fire Protection Association, Standard for Pneumatic
Conveying Systems Handling Feed Flour, Grain, and other Agricultural
Dusts (1973), NFPA No. 66.
Standard for Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions in Feed Mills
(1973), NFPA No. 61C.
2.  Periodicals
Cereal Chemistry
Journal of Japan Agricultural Chemistry
Journal American Oil Chemists
3.  Trade Associations
Corn Refiners Association, Inc.
1001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, D.C.  20036
American Feed Manufacturers Association, Inc.
53 West Jackson Blvd.
Amarillo, Texas  79106
4.  Equipment Suppliers and Engineering Companies
The services of a professional engineering firm experienced in
the design of a wet-milling plant for maize should be engaged for
making a preliminary estimate leading to consideration of a
project.  In addition, an independent expert in the design and
operation of wet milling plants should be engaged to provide
liaison and control.
Firms having such experience are:
Intensa, Mexico City
PSI-Processing Systems, Memphis, Tennessee
Daniel Construction Company, Greensboro, South Carolina
CPC International,
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632
(If the project has proceeded beyond the preliminary stage,
technical assistance might be obtained from this source).
The following firms are suppliers of equipment and capable of
designing portions of the process:
20000 Governors Drive
Olympia Fields, Illinois 60461
Evaporators, Reineveld centrifuge, Vetter dryers and presses,
flash and PTD dryers for starch.
APV Crepaco                         Alfa Laval Inc.
395 Fillmore Ave.                   2115 Linwood Ave.
Tonawanda, New York 14150           Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024
                                    (Plate heat exchangers)
C-E Bauer
3200 Upper Valley Pike
P.O. Box 968
Springfield, Ohio 45501 - Doublerunner plate mills
Eimco Process Equipment Co.         Mixing Equipment Co.
PO Box 300                          135 Mt. Read Blvd.
Salt Lake City, Utah  84110        Rochester, New York 14611
Chemineer                           Dorr-Oliver
PO Box 1123                         Standford, Connecticut 06904
Dayton, OH  45401
100 Fairway Court
Northwale, New Jersey  07647
(North American representative for Westfalia centrifuges)
5.  Directories
Directory of The Edible Oil Industry
Institute of Shortening & Edible Oils, Inc.
815 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.   20006
6.  VITA Resources
7.  VITA Venture Services
VITA Venture Services, a subsidiary of VITA, provides commercial
services for industrial development.   This fee-for-service
includes technology and financial information, technical assistance,
marketing, and joint ventures.   For further information,
contact VITA.