06491242 is referenced by 16 patents.
Malleable material, such as manure, and municipal sludge, food waste, and the like, is dried and the average particle size of the material is reduced in a simple and effective manner without the use of an external heat source. The material with a first moisture content and average particle size is fed into an air stream, and the speed of the air flow with entrained particles is increased so that it is super-cyclonic, typically have a bullet profile with a substantially zero velocity at the periphery of the air flow and a velocity of about 400-500 mph at the center of the air flow. The material is then caused to be reduced in particle size by material to material collisions in one or more cyclone-shaped vessels with retention air-affecting inlets at bottom portions thereof, and the speed of the air flow with entrained material is ultimately reduced so that substantially the entire flow is below super-cyclonic speed. Then the material, having a second moisture content at least 20% less than the first moisture content (e.g. less than one-quarter of the first moisture content), and a second average particle size significantly less than the first size, is separated from the air flow, e.g. by using a cyclone separator with the air flow inlet tangentially into a top portion thereof, the particle outlet at the bottom, and an exhaust gas outlet at the top. The gas out flow form the top may be subjected to wet scrubbing or other treatment.