Low-Oxygen Tower Silo

A silo is a structure for storing bulk materials. Silos are used in agriculture to store grain or fermented feed known as silage. Silos are more commonly used for bulk storage of grain, coal, cement, carbon black, woodchips, food products and sawdust.

The most commonly used silos are: tower silos, bunker silos and bag silos.

Low-oxygen silos are designed to keep the contents in a low-oxygen atmosphere at all times, to keep the fermented contents in a high quality state, and to prevent mold and decay, as may occur in the top layers of a stave silo or bunker. Lox-oxygen silos are only opened directly to the atmosphere during the initial forage loading, and even the unloader chute is sealed against air infiltration.

It would be expensive to design such a large structure that is immune to atmospheric pressure changes over time. Instead, the silo structure is open to the atmosphere but outside air is separated from internal air by large impermeable bags sealed to the silo breather openings. In the warmth of the day when the silo is heated by the sun, the gas trapped inside the silo expands and the bags “breathe out” and collapse. At night the silo cools, the air inside contracts and the bags “breathe in” and expand again.