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Innovation Opportunities

Waste to Worth: Oat Hulls

RFI-150109

This opportunity is closed

Xinova seeks the disclosure of inventions directed to new uses or treatment methods for oat hulls and/or their components.Waste to Worth: Oat Hulls

Oat hulls, or husks, make up about a quarter of oat grains by weight, and yet have a much lower packing density than the oat groats they surround. Unprocessed, oat hulls have low nutrition and are typically used as animal feed or as biofuel. Given their low packing density, many uses are uneconomical if the hulls need to be transported too far from the source.

This RFI seeks new higher value uses of oat hulls, and/or their components. It also seeks improved processes or equipment to provide better yields of valuable by-products. Ideally, inventions are retrofittable to current industry plants and practices. Solutions should provide additional income to oat processors and/or reduce waste treatment costs and reduce environmental impacts.

Problem Definition

Oat hulls, also known as oat husks, are the outer, light shells of oat cereal grains. The oat hulls are a waste by-product of oat production, produced from the milling of the highly nutritious oat groats (or kernels) from the oat grain. It is oat grains that are used in many breakfast cereals and snack foods, such as granola and granola bars, oatmeal or porridge, muesli, oat flour and so on. Oat hulls make up about 25-33% of the weight of the grain.

They are a high fiber, low energy, low protein feed, and as such are primarily used as animal feed stock, or as biofuel. However, these tend to be low commercial value uses of oat hulls. Oat hulls also have handling challenges, due to their very low bulk density of about 9lb/ft3 (144kg/m3). (read more)

Background

Oats are a cereal grain grown for their seed, also known as oats. Oats are chiefly made up of an oat hull (or husk) which envelopes an oat kernel, also known as a groat. The groat is made of several parts, the main parts being the outer bran, middle endosperm and inner germ. The groat may be eaten whole as its constituent parts. The endosperm provides a “whole grain” or further processed into the most commonly consumed part of the groat by humans. The endosperm is commonly processed into rolled and cut oats which may be usedin breakfast cereals and food bars, such as granola and granola-based bars, oatmeal or porridge, muesli, and so on. The bran is a byproduct of oat production, however is also consumed as a cereal. (read more)

This opportunity comes from the efforts of Xinova’s R&D Consulting and Innovation team.

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USA
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Beijing, 100025 China

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