October 11th, 2023

California Pellet Mill

Description: California Pellet Mill offers production of pelleting equipment and pellet systems for animal feed, biomass, waste recovery, and adjacent industries. 

Speaker: Enrique Zarate, Operations Manager. After working for John Deere Power Systems for 20 years, Enrique worked for Eaton Corporation then returned to Waterloo to manage the operations of the California Pellet Mill.  Currently he oversees the operations at the Airline Circle facility while a new site is under construction north of the Municipal Airport.

What is a pellet mill? 

A pellet mill, also known as a pellet press, is a type of mill or machine press used to create pellets from powdered material. Pellet mills are unlike grinding mills, in that they combine small materials into a larger, homogeneous mass, rather than break large materials into smaller pieces.

What is the history of pelleting? 

The nourishing content of the 19th century's animal feed was an inspiration for more compact and more palatable feeds. Technological advancements made it happen and introduced the pelleting process in the early 1900s. Thus, the first form of feed pelleting process started to be used in the 1920s and 1930s in Europe.

How does a pellet plant work?

The process of pelletizing combines mixing of the raw material, forming the pellet and a thermal treatment baking the soft raw pellet to hard spheres. The raw material is rolled into a ball, then fired in a kiln or in travelling grate to sinter the particles into a hard sphere. A pelletizing plant normally has four process steps namely (i) receipt of raw materials, (ii) pretreatment, (iii) balling, and  (iv) induration and cooling.

All the equipment shown in this graphic of the pellet creation process are made at the Waterloo facility.

Reservations: reservations@waterlootechnicalsociety.org, by noon, October 9th, 2023

Social period: 5:30 P.M, October 11th, 2023, Dinner: 6:00 P.M.

Program Chair: Steve Crouse

Guests are always welcome. We need your reservation to enable us to have a name tag for you as well as to send you a reminder in email. 

You are welcome to make a reservation for dinner or just come for the tour. A program-only reservation is appreciated for a head count.

Where: Cedar Falls Pizza Ranch, 4302 University Avenue, Suite B, Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Meal: Dinner includes pizza buffet, dinner buffet, sides and dessert buffet.

Please pay the Pizza Ranch cashier upon entering the restaurant. Seniors (65+) $15.49, adults $17.22. These prices include the tax. Gluten free and vegan options are offered by Pizza Ranch.