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Title

Experiment 3: Tray Drying


Objectives
To perform drying test on solids
To investigate the effects of air velocity on drying rate
To perform heat and mass transfer analysis of a drying process
Introduction
Drying is one of the most common methods used in the food processing industry.
Drying was traditionally carried under the hot sun. However, drying foodstuff
nowadays can easily be carried out in an oven or a dehydrator at any time of the day.
The purpose of drying is to remove moisture from food so that microbial and bacteria
growth is hindered. The drying method has its advantages. Packaging becomes much
easier as well as economical. Foods that are dried also last longer; hence their shelf
life is prolonged.
Some of the more sophisticated methods of drying include freeze-drying and spray
drying. Freeze drying is a dehydration process whereby the food product is frozen
and the surrounding pressure is decreased to allow the frozen water to sublime off the
food material. Spray drying involves drying out a liquid or a slurry compound by
rapidly drying with a burst of hot gas. This method is commonly used in dehydrating
temperature-sensitive substances such as pharmaceutical products and milk powder.
Our tray drying experiment investigates the drying property of sand. We also study
the effects of variable wind velocity unto the drying rate of sand. For the first
experiment, we expect to see a limit in the drying of sand. The sand will dry up to a
certain point where the resulting mass will remain a constant as there is no water let
to evaporate.
For the second part of the experiment, we expect the higher wind velocity to increase
the rate of evaporation. We hypothesise so because as the wind increases in speed,
the rate of removal of water will increase.

Materials and Equipment

Tray dryer
Sand
Tray

Figure 1 Tray Dryer Unit

Data Analysis:Experiment 1
Initial Mass of sand (g)
Water added (g)
Total Mass (g)

0.787
0.065
0.99
7.62910

Moisture content (%)

Cross Section Area of tray


(m2)
Fan frequency (Hz)
Heater temperature (oC)

0.06493
8
65

Mass of

Product
Moisture
Content

Time

Mass

T1DB

T2WB

T3DB

T4WB

water
Evaporated

(min)

(kg)
0.99
0.98
0.972
0.964
0.956
0.949
0.942
0.936
0.93
0.925

(oC)

(oC)

(oC)

(oC)

(kg)

0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90

47.3
47
45.3
47.2
44.3
47.1
46.7
46.7
46.4

37
37.8
37.9
38.6
38.6
38.7
38.6
38.5
38.6

43.8
44.3
44.3
45.3
46.8
45.8
45.6
48.3
44

30.8
30.8
31.4
30.9
31.2
31.8
32.5
31.3
31.7

0
0.01
0.018
0.026
0.034
0.041
0.048
0.054
0.06
0.065

(%)
6.566
5.612
4.835
4.046
3.243
2.529
1.805
1.175
0.538
0.000

Time

Drying rate

Humidity

Humidity

Efficiency

Rate of heat

(min)

(kg/min)

relative (%)

relative (%)

(%)

transfer by

(before tray)

(after tray)
0
15.69507
12.27273
4.926108
8.558559
-12.9534
5.882353
5.069124
-7.37327

convection (J)
0
16.06589
14.35012
11.54248
13.41424
8.890833
13.10228
12.63434
12.79032

0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80

0
0.001
0.0008
0.0008
0.0008
0.0007
0.0007
0.0006
0.0006

51.4
55.6
62.3
58.1
69.6
58.9
59.9
59.5

39.2
37.8
39.9
35.6
32.9
37.3
40.2
29.8
3

90
0.0005
Experiment 2

Fan
Frequenc

Mass

61.1

T1DB

T2WB

41.9

T3DB

11.21495

Mass of

Product

water

Moisture

T4WB

12.1664

evaporated(g

Fan

(kg)
(oC)
(oC)
(oC)
0.961
49
38.3
46.4
0.952
47.9
37.8
46.7
0.946
45.6
38.1
45.4
0.94
45.1
38
45.7
0.934
45.9
37.7
45.7
0.929
45.6
37.8
45.5
Drying
Drying
Air

frequency

time (min)

(Hz)
8
9
10
11
12

(Hz)

(oC)
32.4
31.8
31.4
32.2
31.8
31.3
Air

Content (%)
0
3.330
0.009
2.416
0.015
1.797
0.021
1.170
0.027
0.535
0.032
0.000
Efficiency Rate of

rate

humidity

humidity

(%)

(kg/min)

(%)

(%) (after

transfer by

(before

tray)

convection

tray)
0
0
50.9
37.7
10.83333
8
10
0.0009
52.5
35
5.240175
9
10
0.0006
62
37
0.970874
10
10
0.0006
63.5
38.9
-2.98507
11
10
0.0006
59.1
37.5
0.956938
12
10
0.0005
60.7
36.4
0.485437
Note: Calculation was done by assuming 0.929kg as the mass of dry sand

heat

(J)
16.68981
15.75393
11.69846
11.07455
12.79032
12.1664

Mass balance
Experiment 1
Mass of moisture sand = Mass of dry sand + Mass of water evaporated (assume no
generation and consumption in this process)
Mass of moisture sand = 0.99kg
Mass of dry sand = 0.925kg (Assume it is dry)
Mass of water evaporated = 0.065kg
0.99kg = 0.925kg + 0.065kg

Experiment 2
Mass of moisture sand = 0.961kg
Mass of dry sand = 0.929kg (Assume it is dry)
Mass of water evaporated = 0.032kg
0.961kg=0.929kg+0.032kg
Energy balance
Experiment 1
Average T1=46.444oC (assume to be the average air temperature)
Average T2=38.256oC (assume to be the average sand's surface temperature)
Heat transfer coefficient of air, h =24.023 J/m2oC
Cross section area, A = 0.065m2
Formula for calculation= q=h A (T1-25oC)
Rate of heat transfer by convection, q=33.449J
Cp for sand= 0.83kJ/kgoC
Sensible heat for the sand, q = 0.852*0.83*(38.256-25) = 9.374J [q= m Cp (T2 -25oC)]
Heat of vaporization, q= 24.075J [mass of water x Hvap=0.01kg x 2407.5144kJ/kg]
Heat requirement= 33.449J
Experiment 2
Average T1= 46.517oC (assume to be the average air temperature)
Average T2= 37.95oC (assume to be the average sand's surface temperature)
Heat transfer coefficient of air, h =24.023 J/m2oC
Cross section area, A = 0.065m2
Rate of heat transfer by convection, q=33.562J
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Cp for sand= 0.83kJ/kgoC


Sensible heat for the sand, q = 0.823*0.83*(37.95-25) = 8.846J [q= m Cp (T2 -25oC)]
Heat of vaporization, q= 21.747J [mass of water x Hvap=0.01kg x 2407.5144kJ/kg]
Heat requirement= 36.023J

Experiment 1:
Average T1
Average T3
Overall efficiency
Experiment 2:
Average T1
Average T3
Overall efficiency

46.4444444
45.3555556
5.07772021
46.5166667
45.9
2.86599535

Graph for Experiment 1

Moisture content vs. Drying time

Moisture content(%)

7.00
6.00
5.00
4.00
3.00
2.00
1.00
0.00

E.1

10 30 50 70 90
20 40 60 80

Drying time(min)

Drying rate vs. Moisture content


0
0
0
0

E.1

Drying rate(1/min) 0
0
0
1.00
3.00
5.00
7.00
0.00
2.00
4.00
6.00

Moisture content(%)

Graph for experiment 2

Moisture content vs. Drying time

Moisture content(%)

3.500
3.000
2.500
2.000
1.500
1.000
0.500
0.000

E.2

10 20 30 40 50

Drying time(min)

Drying rate vs. Moisture content


0
0
0
E.2

Drying rate(1/min) 0
0
0
0.00

1.00

2.00

3.00

4.00

Moisture content(%)

Drying rate vs. Air velocity


0
0
0
E.2

Drying rate(1/min) 0
0
0
8

10

11

12

Air Velocity (Hz)

Efficiency vs. Air velocity

E.2

Efficiency(%)
8

10

11

Air velocity(Hz)

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Discussion
The two experiments were conducted to determine a better condition for drying
process in term of time consumption and cost. The results of these two experiments
was compared and discussed.
Experiment 1 was carried out as a control test to observe the drying process of sand
under a condition which we assume to have constant temperature (65 ) and
constant air velocity (8Hz). The results show that, moisture content of the sand
decreases as drying time increases. As the drying time increase, the amount of water
loss through evaporation will increase, and this contribute to the drop of moisture
content in sand.
Moisture contents effect. Based on the data obtained, drying rate is proportional to
the moisture rate. This also means that the drying rate decreases as time proceeds.
This is because drying will occur through the surface first and only then proceed to
the next layer below. The fastest rate will occur at the initial period of the process
since more water is located at the surface. After some time, the surface water will
decrease and water at a lower level will have to be evaporated. At this level, some
water might still be trapped inside the sand and it becomes more difficult to escape
from the sand. Thus, more time is required for this water to escape and vaporize. As
the level of drying become deeper, the drying rate will decrease.
Since no reaction occurs in any drying process, thus, the mass is conserved. Mass
balance was performed and the results satisfy what the theory says. Besides, heat
balance is also done to determine the performance of the drying. However, the
balance does not give a desired result. This indicates that heat does not completely
transfer to the sand. Besides, performing heat transfer calculations are very difficult
as we only consider heat convection, other heat transfer mechanisms were not
considered. This explains the 5% overall efficiency for the dryer in experiment 1.
The energy from the hot air cannot be fully transferred to the sand, some heat might
be lost to the surroundings; showing that this system is not adiabatic..
In experiment 2, the air velocity was manipulated and the effect of air velocity to the
drying rate was observed. The moisture content and drying rate follows the same
trend as in experiment 1 as the drying time increases. The moisture content decreases
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with the drying time and drying rate will decrease with moisture content. It is
important to compare the drying rate on different air velocities. There is a big error in
this part as the results obtained are totally different with the theory. The drying rate is
supposed to increase with the air velocity, but the graph shows an opposite result.
After some analysis, this result is now explainable. Drying rate is influenced by air
velocity, but it also depends on the moisture content. If were to find out the influence
of air velocity on drying rate, other drying rate dependent variables need to be kept
constant, and experiment 2 does not satisfy that. Moisture content will have a
negative effect to drying rate, whereas air velocity will have positive effect to drying
rate. When these two variables occur, the effect will superimpose and give a new
effect on the drying rate. Moisture contents effect is dominant when the rate
decreases from 0.0009 to 0.0006. Then, the rate becomes constant as the air
velocitys effect and moisture contents effect cancelled out each other. Finally, the
rate decreases again, this time caused by the moisture contents effect.
The result also shows that air velocity will affect the efficiency of the dryer. The
efficiency measures the effectiveness of heat transfer to the sands moisture for
vaporization. If the efficiency is decreased, it indicates that less heat is absorbed by
the sand to vaporize the water. This is true when air moves with a fast speed, it
carries the water at the sands surface at a fast rate before it evaporate, thus, less heat
is needed to remove the water from sand.
The experiment gives us many unexpected results and is probably caused by the
errors listed below. Firstly, we think that the uneven moisture on the sands surface
might affect the drying rate. If most of the water is located at the lower layer of the
sand, then the drying rate will not follow the original trend. Besides, the temperature
that was assumed to be constant was in reality fluctuating. This may be caused by the
instrument being not well insulated, and heat will be lost to the surroundings easily.
It is impossible to maintain a constant temperature. As we know that, the drying rate
is highly dependent on temperature, the temperature fluctuations cause the water to
escape at a different rate. Furthermore, errors might come from the data collection as
the temperature values were not recorded at the instant time. All the four temperature
displays are mounted together in a single monitor. It takes time to record, change and
record the four temperature readings. And some times, the monitor faces technical
glitches and we assume it to be the right reading. Since temperature will never be
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constant, the reading must be recorded fast to minimize the error in the temperature
readings. Wrong readings recorded will contribute to calculation errors. Moreover,
the sand has to be reweighed at every 10 minute intervals. And at each of the time, it
takes us about 3 minutes to reheat the sand again. As this period of time, some water
might vaporized to the surroundings and the drying rate as this moment had not been
taken into account.
It is better to have four monitors to display all the dry bulb and wet bulb
temperatures. If this change can be made to the instrument, the all the temperatures
reading can be recorded more effectively and gives less room for error. A better
insulation can minimize heat loss to the surroundings and help achieve the constant
temperature assumption. Installation of insulation to the instrument might improve
the results reliability. It is advisable to dry the sand continuously without taking out
to reweigh the sand at every time interval. If possible, weigh the sand in dryer
without taking it out.
The moisture content will affect the drying rate, thus experiment 2 cannot clearly
show the relationship between air velocity and drying rate. It is better to design a
new experiment which keeps the moisture content constant for every air velocity
used. But to prepare a same mass of sand with equal moisture content is quite
difficult.
For our experiment, we cannot determine the influence of air velocity to the drying
rate, and thus, we cannot determine the optimization condition to dry the sand. A
complete research (in appendix) shows that temperature influence is higher on the
drying rate. The optimum condition can be found out from experiment, but high
temperature and air velocity is rather costly. As a reminder, the drying process cannot
be conducted under extremely high temperatures as the surface of the sand might
become hard or even get burnt. The best conditions for the drying process with the
consideration of the cost and time consumption only can be determined after
complete analyses on the cost we have to pay for every Celsius and Hertz.
Conclusion
The effect of air velocity on drying rate was investigated in this experiment. Theory
says high air velocity increases the drying rate. But, our experiment shows opposite
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result due the moisture contents effect. Drying is costly and time consuming, thus, a
optimum condition is needed to be found to reduce the cost and time consumed. The
experiment should be redesigned to correctly examine the influence of air velocity on
drying rate.

Reference
Principles of mass transfer and separation processes by Binay.K.Butta 2007 by
Prentice-Hall of India

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