Material Handling for Ethanol Plants

Premium Drag Conveyors

Biomass Engineering & Equipment supplies superior bulk storage and material handling equipment for the ethanol industry. Known for their efficiency and low operational cost, our SMART Conveyor™ systems provide reliable, top-of-the-line performance for virtually any bulk material, including:

  • Corn
  • Milled corn
  • Sorghum
  • Barley
  • Cellulosic materials (agricultural residues, stover, rice straw, etc.)
  • Forest residues (biomass)
  • Sugar beets
  • Sugar cane
  • DDGS
  • Wet cake

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Solutions for Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS)

DDGS provide a unique challenge for ethanol producers. Storage can become an issue when rail cars aren’t available, and there are few automated systems when it comes to the load out process. What’s more, the introduction of FSMA means producers will have to reconsider their current storage and handling practices in order to comply with regulations.

Biomass Engineering & Equipment has you covered. We’ve worked with DDGS and are confident our solutions will benefit your operation. Our solutions include:

SMART Conveyors™

Conveyors designed for seasonal farm use were never meant for ethanol plants. While conveyor manufacturers that specialize in the agricultural market may be familiar to plant owner and operators, they simply aren’t designed to run 24 hours a day throughout the year. To keep operations humming, you need a reliable, heavy duty conveyor system designed with your operational specs in mind. You need a SMART Conveyor™.

SMART Conveyors™ boast many advantages over other industrial conveyors. Information and media are available on the SMART Conveyor™ web page.


Biomass Engineering & Equipment offers multiple solutions for DDGS storage. These include:

DDGS Building Conveyor Reconfiguration

SMART Containers

  • Increase true capacity by storing DDGS in enclosed storage containers with moving floors
  • Automates discharge—eliminate front loaders!
  • Better protects DDGS from wildlife
  • No tire rubber in DDGS
  • Eliminates dusty, hazardous atmosphere of DDGS storage building
  • Less capital cost and faster depreciation than a building or silo
  • Modular design
  • Free up current DDGS storage building for alternative use
  • Read more in DDGS Problems and Solutions
  • Read more in Midnight Train to Georgia Ain’t Got Your DDGS

Buildings with Automated Reclaim

Trailer Loading Stations

  • Load trailers without the mess, expense, and danger of wheel loaders
  • Fully loads a trailer in 20 minutes
  • Drive-through convenience
  • Much less dust than a wheel loader

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Solutions for Wet Cake (WDDGS)

FSMA requires ethanol producers to rethink how they store and handle WDDGS. Fortunately, we have solutions which may help ethanol producers not only comply with FSMA but that will:

  • Increase “shelf life” of wet cake
  • Introduce automation to the load out process
  • Significantly decrease mess


Stainless steel SMART Conveyors™ allow ethanol producers to effectively move hot, acidic wet cake to storage without the heavy maintenance required of mild steel conveyors in such conditions.


SMART Containers provide a unique solution for storing wet cake. The current method of storing wet cake on an open slab engenders a variety of safety and quality issues, which producers will have to address. These issues include:

  • Fast degradation of product, especially in the summer
  • Free access of animals to the wet cake
  • Mess from seepage

Storing wet cake in SMART Containers address these issues and provides an effective way to automate the load out process. Because SMART Containers are enclosed, they keep the elements and animals off the product, which increases quality and safety. We can further increase quality by equipping the containers with a nitrogen blanket, which would decrease the rate of degradation and thereby increase the wet cake’s “self life.”

Trailer Loading

Ethanol producers most commonly load wet cake with a wheel loader, a laborious method which creates a great deal of mess and which contaminates the wet cake with tire rubber and foreign materials off the loader’s tires.

Trailer loading stations automate this process by

  1. Live loading trailers directly from production (bypassing the slab altogether), or
  2. Loading trailers from SMART Container discharge.

Trailer loading stations are capable of filling trailers in as little as 15-20 minutes. Dual stations are available.


Webinar: Solutions for Wet Cake Handling
Article: Storage Solutions for WDDGS
Article: Material Handling Solutions for WDDGS
Article: Trailer Loading for WDDGS at Ethanol Plants

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Biomass Boiler Systems

Ethanol plants looking to offset emissions and decrease carbon utilization will sometimes opt to install a biomass boiler system. Opting for biomass power has the added benefit of reducing reliance on grid power. In places where grid power is unreliable, having an alternative source of energy can mean the difference between production and downtime.

Biomass Engineering & Equipment are the go-to experts for biomass boiler systems. We supply turn-key systems complete with equipment for receiving, transfer, storage, reclaim, metering, boiler infeed, and ash handling.

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