After grading, peanuts are unloaded and stored in large warehouses until they are needed at the shelling plant for further processing and sale to a peanut product manufacturer. Engineers have conducted research to determine proper ventilation and aeration rates. A tool is available to calculate warehouse capacity, dimensions, and headspace ventilation requirements for safe storage.
Engineers are conducting research to look at new storage structures for farmer stock peanuts. Aeration strategies and length of storage are being examined to determine the amount of aeration required in these monolithic concrete domes and the deterioration in quality over various periods of storage.
Peanuts produced according to USDA organic production standards, must be processed and stored separately from conventionally grown peanuts. Insect and rodent control in storage must be done according to organically sound practices using no chemicals. One such method may be the use of low oxygen atmospheres. Engineers at NPRL are investigating the use of hermetically sealed storage containers for farmer stock peanut storage. Peanuts are placed in these bags and sealed using a zipper closure.
The peanuts respire, consume the oxygen within the bag, and give off carbon dioxide. The airtight bag allows no moisture or carbon dioxide to escape nor oxygen to enter resulting in a very low oxygen atmosphere.
For more information contact Chris Butts.