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Chemical Engineering Science, 1970, Vol. 25, pp. 897-899.

Pergamon Press.

Printed in Great Britain.

. . . ..*.................................................................................*............. The estimation of drying-flux profiles in continuously


worked dryers

I December


To ESTIMATE the performance of industrial dryers, it is often convenient to use the concept of the characteristic drying curve. This curve, derived from bench-scale tests under constant external conditions of air humidity, temperature and velocity, describes how the drying rate dwindles with diminishing free moisture content. In particular, the characteristic drying curve has been used to follow batch drying with air recirculation [ I,21 and simple timber-drying schedules[3], and Krischer[4] uses this concept in presenting a graphical method of finding the length of a continuously worked dryer from rate profiles. It is this latter method which is examined in this communication. The drying flux, the moisture loss per unit exposed surface per unit time, may be described in terms of the gas-phase concentrations (or humidities) by
m = Ky(Ys - YJ. (1)


y,,,, YI - yc

fK,adZ IO f G


To solve Eq. (6), we need to define f in terms of length. Since f varies in an almost linear fashion with free moisture content, we may assume
f = e-Z = e-I%


which satisfies the boundary conditions f= 1, Z=O (8)


Equation ( I) may be replaced by m =fl(r(Y,Y,,) (2)

when the distance Z is measured from the point of inception of the falling-rate period. The coefficient g may be found from the known conditions at the solids outlet, viz:
g = - Infi(Xz)lN,.


wherein the true surface humidity Ys has been replaced by the adiabatic-saturation humidity Yi and an adjusting function f introduced. This function is the reduced drying flux of the characteristic drying curve[2]. If the whole drying material were in the first drying period, then the drying flux varies linearly with dryer length[4]. The ratio of the drying fluxes at the solids inlet to that at the solids outlet is given by m,lm, = exp (k N) (3)

Insertion of Eq. (7) into Eq. (6) and subsequent integration yields



Yi - Ycz _ Kra , _ Y{--Yy,, -+gc



Since, from Eq. (2) m, -= mcr it follows that

f(Yi-YYcz) (11)

( Y, - Yc,,)

where N is the total number of transfer units in the dryer. The positive sign is taken for counterflow of solids and air, the negative sign for parallel flow. Krischers method implies that this flux ratio becomes m,/m,=f exp(&N) (4)

= f exp 5 Kya( 1 -f)Z/(ln =fexpT(l-f)N,/lnf.

f )G


when the material is partially in the falling-rate period of drying. A balance between the humidification of the air and the moisture loss from solid over a small slice in the dryer (Fig. I ) gives f G dY, = f Kr(adZ)(Y, - Y,). (5)

From the solids inlet to the place when the material is at the critical plant, the stock is wholly within the first drying period, so z=expfN,. Thus mz m, -=-~m,=fexp-t-(N,~(l-f)N,/lnf). m, mff m, (14)

The positive sign is taken in co-current flow, and the negative in countercurrent flow of solids and air. For the evaporation in the rear portion of the dryer where the material is wholly within the falling-rate period,


CES. VOL. 2% NO. 5-J

Shorter Communications

solids in ;... ..


\... .. . . . ..T.*

i -+I-_I

exposed surface/ volume 1

..*.......,.. ,mr,,,,.

solids out



Fig. 1.Sketch of dry&. Equation ( 14) does not differ from Krischers Eq. (4) when N, = 0 (material is in the first drying period). Should the drying in the falling-rate period be extensive, then Eq. (14) predicts substantially different drying fluxes at the solids outlet. For example, when fi = 0.1, N, = 0.5 and N, = 1.0, ml/m0 is 0.0233 by Krischers method (Eq. (4)) and OG410 by Eq. ( 14) for the case of co-current drying. The lengthwise variation of drying flux for these conditions is plotted in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 for both co- and counter-current drying. On examining Eq. ( 14), we see that the reduced-flux functionfappears both as a multiplier and within the exponential term. This latter function, not given by Krischers expression, relates to the diminished humidification following the reduced surface vapour pressure of moisture in the fallingrate period. The convected influence of this attenuated moisture pick-up counteracts to some extent the diminished
I I 1

surface humidity and the true humidity potential W- Yc) is somewhat greater than that which Krischer estimates. The longer the dryer the more significant are the discrepancies, as Figs. 2 and 3 show. The graphical method then would give an oGerestimate of the length of dryer needed for a specified drying rate at the air inlet. Acknowledgment-The author acknowledges the comments of Mr. N. F. Catherall which prompted this study.
Department of Chemical Engineering University of Canterbury Christchurch, New Zealand


NOTATION exposed surface area per unit dryer volume, m-l reduced rate function (Eq. (2))

1 f% %



drying period

2nd drying






Fig. 2. Drying-flux profiles for continuously worked dryer with cocurrent flow of drying solids and air. The ratio m,/m, plotted against NTU forf, = 0.1. (The NTU are measured from the solids-inlet end.)


Shorter Communications


equation (14) P lat drying period 2nd drying

I 0.5

1.0 NTU 1.5

Fig. 3. As for Fig. 2, for countercurrently coefficients (Eq. (7)) specific dry-air flow (per unit dryer cross-section), kg rn+ see- mass-transfer coefficient, kg m-2 set-r drying flux, kg rn+ set- number of transfer units in first drying period number of transfer units in second drying period total number of transfer units free moisture content bulk-air humidity Yi Ys Z Z

operated dryers. adiabatic-saturation humidity humidity at exposed surface distance from solids inlet, m distance from critical condition, m


0 sotids inlet cr critical condition of solids z solids outlet

REFERENCES [l] VAN MEEL D. A., Chem. Engng Sci. 1958 9 36. [Zl KEEY R. B., Chem. Engng Sci. 1968 23 1299. 131 ASHWORTH J. C., B. E. Report, University of Canterbury 1969. [4] KRISCHER O., Die wissenschuftlichen Grundkqen der TrocLumgstechnih.

2nd Edn, p. 448. Springer 1963.

Chemical Engineering Science, 1970, Vol. 25, pp. 899-901.

Pergamon Press.

Printed in Great Britain.

A similarity solution to an integro-differential

(First received 23 October

equation describing batch grinding

I December 1969)

1969; in revisedform

IT HAS been shown that, in many batch grinding systems, the evolution of particle size-distribution is adequately described by the following integro-differential equations [ I-S]

dM (x, t) ~=--S(x)M(x,

t) +



t) dv


where M(x, t) is the mass fraction of particles in size range x to x+ dr at grinding time t: S, the selection function, is the grinding rate; and B(v, x), the breakage function, is the mass fraction of daughter particles reporting to size x when partitles of size v are broken. Zero-interaction between the particles has been assumed in deriving Eq. (1) and its .validity is uncertain at extreme grinding times.