Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Published in Applied Engineering in Agriculture VOL. 15(1): 69-72. Copyright © 1999 American Society of Agricultural Engineers. Used by permission.


Wax is found on the outer layer of the grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) kernel. Current harvesting and handling techniques cause abrasion and breakage, thereby potentially reducing wax yield from sorghum kernels. The purpose of this study was to determine wax yield of sorghum after mechanical harvesting and handling and to compare wax yield of whole and broken sorghum kernels. Combine threshing and auger conveying of grain caused abrasion and breakage, which reduced the wax yield by 5%. The monitored process in this experiment included a cleaning system which reduced the amount of broken kernels and sorghum particles, increasing wax yield after cleaning and bagging. Additionally, the monitored process had a limited amount of augering and other handling included. In the second experiment, artificially broken kernels were found to have a 25% reduction in wax yield.