Five Important Questions From the Petrochemical Industry

Five Important Questions From the Petrochemical Industry

When it comes to rotary drying equipment in the petrochemical industry, versatility is key. Such a substantial investment requires research and careful consideration. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons, as well as heed advice from experts on the subject. 

Louisville Dryers have been a production asset for the petrochemical industry for over 130 years. As the industry has changed and evolved over that time, Louisville Dryers have changed right along with it. Always improving aspects of our design and equipment, we focus on meeting the ever-changing needs of petrochemical production.

Industries considering the investment and commitment of a petrochemical product dryer can glean wisdom and knowledge from our Senior Applications Engineer, John Robertson. John has worked in the industry for over 35 years and is an outstanding asset to the Louisville Dryer team and our customers. 

Recently we asked John to answer five top questions customers often have about our company and petrochemicals. John offers the answers to these questions with simplicity and expertise.


The Petrochemical Industry’s Five Questions 

As answered by Senior Applications Engineer, John Robertson

What role does Louisville Dryer play in the production of petrochemicals?

Louisville Dryers have been synonymous with rotary drying equipment for over a century. We do everything from the designing, manufacturing, and installation of a variety of rotary process equipment for the petrochemical industry. 

Our expansive areas of expertise include: 

Each piece of equipment is specifically and uniquely designed to accommodate the mechanics and the processes of the product application.

What makes our Steam Tube Dryer, in particular, well-equipped for the petrochemical industry?

When it comes to longevity and saving money over the life of the equipment, it all comes back to precision and efficiency. 

Our Steam Tube Dryer is the most efficient type of rotary dryer because of its steam-filled tube heating source. The steam is only replaced when heat is transferred to the product itself, so the amount of heat loss from the system is very minimal. Our Steam Tube Dryer allows for slow gentle drying, so the moisture that’s physically held within the particles of the product can move to the surface and dry. 

The sheer versatility of our Steam Tube Dryer makes it a home run for the vast operations of the petrochemical industry. It can be used in many different applications and can be modified to suit specific plant or product needs. 


What unique capabilities make Louisville Dryer a good fit for working within the petrochemical industry?

Louisville Dryer designs and manufactures all of its equipment in various alloys to suit the nature and product of the plant. Standard stainless steel, 304 and 316, duplex stainless steel, super stainless steel, as well as corrosion and heat resistant nickel alloys can be incorporated into our equipment. 

If a product needs an inert atmosphere or if a solvent is being driven off and needs to be recovered, we can design special seals for the feed and discharge hoods that limit the leakage of the ambient atmosphere or the loss of solvent. 

We can also design the dryer to use a steam pressure of up to 450 PSIG if a chemical reaction needs to take place. Our Steam Tube Dryer can also purely be used as a heat source to bring a product from one temperature to another.


How can companies in the petrochemical industry save money by going with Louisville Dryer?

Our exceptional quality. 

Louisville Dryer’s commitment to quality control is the number one factor that saves companies money over going with another brand of dryers. 

Our clients demand reliability, and we give it to them. All of our equipment is designed and manufactured with extreme precision and robust components. Our goal is to run continuous operations that meet or exceed our clients’ production needs. We are focused on less maintenance, less loss of production, and less equipment replacement. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Look at our proven record. Louisville Dryer has equipment in the field that has been in operation for 50 years, and we will continue to uphold our reputation of reliability for years to come. 


How can someone get the best insights and information about their specific petrochemical needs?


Contact us. The Louisville Dryer team is open and willing to share our knowledge with you. This is a substantial investment, so we want to feel confident about your decision and make sure you get it right. 

Our employees have hundreds of years of combined experience in mechanical design, process design, manufacturing, application, and service of industrial rotary processing equipment, especially dryers. You can speak with us directly and even schedule a site visit. It starts with making a phone call to us at (800) 735-3163 or by taking a moment to fill out our online contact form.


See Our Petrochemical Case Study:

Mash to Cash • Insight from the Inside

Mash to Cash • Insight from the Inside

Whiskey distilleries across the United States craft unique products with intricate balances of complex characteristics. Each facility is as distinct as the landscape that surrounds it and the people who orchestrate the production of its beloved spirits. Different as they may be, there’s one inescapable quandary shared among them all; once the good stuff is made, there’s a whole heap of stuff they have to get rid of. 

Distilleries have two choices when it comes to spent grain:

  • Scramble and try to give the spent grain away before it rots.
  • Turn the grain into something of value and let it make them money.

We asked an expert insider to get to the root of what distillers really want to know about turning their waste into profit – how to do it and if it’s worth it? Jack Schanie, the Applications Engineer for Louisville Dryer, has eyes and ears on the ground every day in this niche field and tells us what he knows about the business of distillers grains.

What are distillers grains?

Essentially, it’s the leftovers after distillation – or the material that was not converted to alcohol through the fermentation process. A liquid consisting mostly of protein, fiber, fat, and water remains in the still and is no longer useful to distilleries. This material is called Whole Stillage and needs to be disposed of quickly and properly to prevent slowdowns in production.




“The value of the material may be a significant portion of the original grain purchase.”

-Jack Schanie, Applications Engineer, Louisville Dryer Company








How do distilleries dispose of these grains?

This material cannot be disposed of through sewage treatment, so it’s processed as a byproduct. Some distillers will give it away as Wet Distillers’ Grain (WDG) to local farmers, or ship it short distances at a cost. WDG can be fed to livestock, but the problem is, if it’s not transported and consumed immediately, it will spoil or rot, leaving it useless.

The solution is to dry the material in a rotary dryer at the distillery. This way, it can be stored for long periods of time. Distillers can sell it as a nutrient-rich feed additive for cattle, hogs, chickens, and fish. The term for this product is DDG (Distillers Dried Grains) or DDGS (Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles).


What are the advantages of drying distillers’ grains, and how can this process benefit distilleries?

The benefits of the process are a win/win situation for both the distillery and agricultural industries. Drying the grains significantly extends the shelf life of the byproduct. Dried Distillers Grains typically last six to twelve months in a cool, dry warehouse or silo, compared to Wet Distillers Grains, which have a shelf life of less than one week. Drying makes the grains more valuable to farmers, and it’s easier for distilleries to unload while making them money instead of costing them money.


Is DDGS a viable source of revenue for a distillery?

Yes. For distillers with large quantities of WDG that don’t have a dependable local source to accept it, DDGS converts waste into a revenue source. In fact, once the WDG is dried, the value of the material may be a significant portion of the original grain purchase.



What’s necessary to dry distillers’ grains?

Two crucial elements are necessary:

  • The proper equipment
  • A partnership and support from an experienced team in the industry

The main component in the equipment is a Rotary Steam Tube Dryer. It’s a heat exchanger that uses the energy in steam to dry the material. It’s the best method because it provides more gentle heating, which gives the grains a light color. And that’s the key when assessing the value of the DDG product.

Engineering the equipment to adequately handle the weight and size of the material, mixing, air pollution control, and efficiency is vital for effective operation. There’s a lot that goes into it, and the proper design for all the moving parts is critical for distilleries. That’s why Louisville Dryer designs, engineers, and distributes dryhouses complete with everything a distillery needs to process their DDGS, and all the back-up and support of the leaders in the industry. 


Which distilleries are currently preparing and selling DDGS?

Most large distilleries and ethanol plants make DDG/DDGS. Louisville Dryer is the preferred equipment throughout the Bourbon Trail in distilleries such as Buffalo Trace, Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, and others.


What kind of history does Louisville Dryer have in the Distillery industry?

Louisville Dryer has been building steam tube dryers for distilleries for over one hundred years and continues to do so. We’re proud to have a history of trust and reliability in the industry. We built the oldest known DDG dryer, which is still operating in the Old Forrester Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The unit started drying in 1932 and has run continuously for eighty-seven years. We only recently replaced three dryers at Buffalo Trace, which were manufactured in 1944.


What are the benefits of going with a Louisville Dryer product?  

Louisville Dryers are designed to last. Louisville Dryer Company builds very robust equipment designed to run twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with minimal shutdowns. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of quality when it comes to our workmanship. Distilleries who invest in a dryhouse from Louisville Dryer know they are getting a quality dryer that will last for years to come.


Where can distilleries get what they need to successfully and efficiently prepare DDGS?  

Louisville Dryer can put together complete equipment proposals for dryhouse designs for any distillery to prepare DDGS.

Our team is ready to help distilleries turn their waste into profits. Contact us today to learn more!