INDUSTRY PROFILE #9
STARCH, OIL, AND FEED
FROM SORGHUM GRAIN
Peter K. Carrell
Robert W. Batey
VOLUNTEERS IN TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Wilson Boulevard, Suite 500, Arlington, Virginia 22209 USA
Telephone: (703) 276-1800,
Fax: (703) 243-1865
Telex: 440192 VITAUI,
Starch, Oil, and Feed from Sorghum Grain
[C] 1987, Volunteers in Technical Assistance
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
a plant, a feasibility study should be conducted.
This may require skilled economic and
The following illustrates the range of questions to which answers must
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
and supplies, training of personnel, and the start-up time for the plant
How are needed materials and supplies to be
procured and machinery and
to be maintained and repaired?
Are trained personnel available?
Do adequate transportation, storage, power,
communication, fuel, water, and
What management controls for design,
production, quality control, and other
have been included?
Will the industry complement or interfere
with development plans for the area?
What social, cultural, environmental, and
technological considerations must be
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
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
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
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,
self-sufficiency by promoting increased economic
productivity. Supported by a volunteer
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
STARCH, OIL, AND FEED FROM SORGHUM GRAIN
PREPARED BY: Peter
REVIEWED BY: Robert
1. The Product
The products are starch, oil, and feed made from sorghum
Starch - With only 0.5 percent protein, it is not as high
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,
molding sand for foundries, foods, and laundry.
The range of uses
is extended by additions to the plant for chemical
of the starch.
Oil - It is unrefined vegetable oil that is high on
It is fit for all food oil uses after refining.
Feed - It comprises a mixture of fiber, spent oil cake from
expeller, gluten, and steepwater.
2. The Facility
This profile describes a small plant operating with three
on a seven-day work schedule and processing about 200 tons
sorghum a day. Two
shifts are down per week for maintenance.
This facility may be considered a heavy industry because of
emission from the boiler and dryers and the noise from its
This industry is similar to the wet milling of maize and
same basic technology for processing the sorghum grain.
is capable of providing a support infrastructural base for
other industries, such as textile, paper, mining, oil
foundry, and livestock feed.
As a heavy industry, the plant will
require large amounts of capital, energy, and access to road
rail transport. It
also will need a good supply of clean water
(1600 m3/day) to use as boiler feedwater and for processing
cooling. A stable
supply of electric power is also needed as
unexpected outage may cause expensive delays in getting the
process on line.
The rate of profit in the industrialized nations is marginal
However in protected markets, the profit can be
between 10-20 percent.
With minor modifications, it is possible to use the same
to process other agricultural products, including maize,
cassava, broken rice, and wheat.
3. Knowledge Base
The personnel must be highly trained, and the supervisory
must have both mechanical and chemical (including
4. Quality Control
With the machinery in good working order, the quality of the
products is ensured once the production process is carried
according to standards.
If production and maintenance standards
are not maintained, it can result in microbiological growth
product contamination, which may lead to nonacceptance of
product. Worst of
all, a dust explosion may occur that may wreck
parts of the plant and possibly cause injury to
most common effect of a failure to follow maintenance
is higher operating costs and frequent outages.
5. Constraints and
Dust emission may be objectionable unless new air drying
is used. Danger from
explosion is real because of organic
safeguards in construction and operation are
loading from plant sanitation and cleaning, plus
accidental spills may overload a municipal system.
connection to a municipal system through an equalization and
neutralization tank is recommended since the waste stream
is lacking in nutrients for the stable operation of an
Oil - As unrefined vegetable oil, it could be sold in bulk
firm that would then refine and market it to individuals and
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,
starch is desired.
Sales may be in bag or bulk.
The grain sorghum supply will come directly from farms or
3. Sales Channels
Sales of unrefined oil will be made directly to
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
Markets for feeds are generally local or regional, but
could be made to enterprises based on fattening
animals for market or raising fowl by mass methods, or to
when hay and silage are in short supply.
Sales of oil and starch
may be regional or for export.
All of the products are standard commodities and are subject
The success of the venture depends on the
isolation of the market by transport cost, tariff, or
Some competition may come from local small-scale projects
starch from cassava or white or sweet potato.
will produce crude material, but since the capital cost is
low, they could be competitive in periods of depressed
6. Market Capacity
Because of the variety nature of the products, the market
national and international.
PRODUCTION AND PLANT REQUIREMENTS
Utilities Small Plant
natural gas or oil
municipal plant 200 m3/day at 2
basin 100 m3
2. Major Equipment
& Machinery Small Plant
germ press; germ
(vacuum drum belt type)
starch washing system of 13 stages of
dewatering centrifuge with filtrate concentrator
equipment & parts
truck and rail
bins for continuity of operation
locker rooms for
electrical shops with tools
rail, site storm drainage
(*)TOTAL ESTIMATED COSTS
(for 200 ton a day plant (erected basis)
(*) 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
grain, 200 Tons
dioxide 0.4 Tons
Detergent, alkaline to
ca. 10 pH for
50 kg size
plant engr. &
maint. supervisor 1
instrument mechanic 1
warehouse, grounds, and
shipping clerk 1
Small Plant Medium Plant
Amount in per day
Amount out per
Unless otherwise stated, these addresses are in the United
1. Technical Manuals
Hall, C.W. (1981).
Drying and Storage of Agricultural Crops.
National Fire Protection Association, Standard for Pneumatic
Conveying Systems Handling Feed Flour, Grain, and other
Dusts (1973), NFPA No. 66.
Standard for Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions in Feed
(1973), NFPA No. 61C.
Journal of Japan Agricultural Chemistry
Journal American Oil Chemists
Corn Refiners Association, Inc.
1001 Connecticut Ave., NW
American Feed Manufacturers Association, Inc.
53 West Jackson Blvd.
Suppliers and Engineering Companies
The services of a professional engineering firm experienced
the design of a wet-milling plant for maize should be
making a preliminary estimate leading to consideration of a
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
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
designing portions of the process:
20000 Governors Drive
Olympia Fields, Illinois 60461
Evaporators, Reineveld centrifuge, Vetter dryers and
flash and PTD dryers for starch.
Alfa Laval Inc.
395 Fillmore Ave.
2115 Linwood Ave.
Tonawanda, New York 14150
Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024
(Plate heat exchangers)
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
PO Box 1123
Standford, Connecticut 06904
Dayton, OH 45401
100 Fairway Court
Northwale, New Jersey
(North American representative for Westfalia centrifuges)
Directory of The Edible Oil Industry
Institute of Shortening & Edible Oils, Inc.
815 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
6. VITA Resources
7. VITA Venture
VITA Venture Services, a subsidiary of VITA, provides
services for industrial development.
includes technology and financial information, technical
marketing, and joint ventures.
For further information,