AgTech Startup Uses Radio Waves To Dry Grain

After drying more than 40 different materials, DryMax, an agtech startup based in Minnesota, is ready to commercialize a low-energy, low-heat radio wave process for drying grain.

“There are issues with using heat to dry grain,” says Kevin Eichhorn, co-founder of DryMax. “Our technology dries things differently. We’ve substituted radio waves instead of heat.”

He explains the technology uses long-wave, not microwave, and when the radio wave hits the water molecule, it displace the water. The emissions from the process look like steam, but it is just water vapor. The system has a “cage” so no radio waves escape, and the system has an automated fan system.  

“It’s a very gentle way to push water out, and we can push out water 20 times faster than heat,” he says. “The process provides a very consistent result, so there is no need for blending.”

In total, DryMax calculates a 400% to 700% energy cost savings.

The company has 3.5 years in drying corn and soybeans, and seven prototypes have been tested. In 2018, they are placing 10 showcase models to be side-by-side with traditional dryers. And they are currently accepting farmer cooperators.

When they go to market, they recognize their product is capital intensive.

“We are starting to go to market on a lease model. We pay for repairs. We pay for our guys to come conduct service on the unit twice a year,” Eichhorn says.

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