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Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

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Journal of Food Engineering

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Green's function method (GFM) and mathematical solution for

coupled equations of transport problem during convective drying
S.M. Vahidhosseini a, E. Barati b, J.A. Esfahani a, *

Center of Excellence on Modeling and Control Systems (CEMCS), Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad
91775-1111, Iran
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Khayyam University, Mashhad, Iran

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history:
Received 21 August 2015
Received in revised form
22 April 2016
Accepted 23 April 2016
Available online 27 April 2016

A one-dimensional unsteady state mathematical model of coupled heat and mass transfer equations is
accomplished to simulate the convective drying of cylindrical quince slices with axis parallel to the hot
air ow. The semi-analytical proposed solution method considers fundamentals of the convective drying
process and takes internal resistances to temperature and moisture content into account. Green's
function method (GFM) is used due to existence of time dependent boundary conditions. In the present
study, unlike classic problems, evaporation term initiate a strong coupling between heat and mass
transfer equations and therefore in the present study the basic idea of numerical solutions which is
repetition and correction, is used to present a novel analytical solution and correct it. In addition the
effects of Biot number and relative humidity on drying kinetics are investigated. The agreement between
published experimental results and model predictions is remarkable.
2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Convective drying
Heat and mass transfer
Coupled equations
Analytical solution
Green's function method

1. Introduction
Most vegetables and fruits contain more than 80% water and
they are highly expendable. The explanation for water loss and
decay for most of their losses, which are calculated approximately
to be more than 30e40% in the developing countries in the tropics
and subtropics due to inadequate handling, transportation, and
storage facilities. By removing water content the growth and
reproduction of micro-organisms causing decay are prevented and
minimizes the moisture-mediated deteriorative reactions. It reduces weight and amount of the product, the packing is minimized
with higher cost of storage and transportation. The most dated
method which is dehydration technique is to conserve foodstuff.
Hence, while the product is becoming dry, simulation of the
transport phenomena is substantial (Mujumdar, 2006).
Considering the actual drying process physics by convection
method, it is a complex task to solve governing equation on the
process. Therefore it seems achievable to solve analytically only in a
certain high simple mode. Hernandez et al. (2000) were presented
a simple model in which one dimensional assumption is used for
the product. Some parameters are used and the body's width is

* Corresponding author.
E-mail address: (J.A. Esfahani).
0260-8774/ 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

presumed to be variable. In the simplest model to take the body's

shrinkage into account, the moist object's width is a function of
moisture content. Making use of this model and the superposition
principle, a two dimensional solution were presented by
Hernandez et al. (2000). In order to discretize the diffusion equation by using the nite volume method, Farias et al. (2013) wrote a
transient three dimensional mathematical formulation in boundary
tted coordinates and numerical formalism. Since the boundary
condition of the rst kind is used, their numerical solution can be
applied to investigate any diffusive process in solids with any
shapes. Etemoglu et al. (2005) proposed a mathematical model for
combined heat and mass transfer analysis of paper drying. In this
model, the assumption is that the paper has porous media during
the drying period and the vapor pressure of the evaporating liquid
stays at a quasi-saturated value corresponding to the temperature
of the liquid on the drying surface. Their comparisons demonstrate
that experimental values are highly close to those foretold from the
theory. In a model, Dimitrios A. Tzempelikos et al. (2015) studied
one-dimensional unsteady state heat and mass transfer during
convective drying. The model is based on the numerical method,
assuming moisture transport due to Fick's diffusion, with effective
moisture diffusion on the basis, on Arrhenius-type temperature
dependence. Simal et al. (2000) and also Ben-Yoseph et al. (2000)
presumed the temperature of the body to be stable during the

S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

water activity
A, B
coefcients of eigenfunction
Bi1, Bi2 Biot number of front and back face
Bim1 ; Bim2 mass Biot number of front and back face
concentration of water vapor, kg m3
product specic heat, J kg1 K1
moisture diffusivity, m2 s1
preexponential factor of the Arrhenius equation,
m2 s1
activation energy, kJ mol1
evaporation term in heat transfer's B.Cs.
Em1, Em2 evaporation term in mass transfer's B.Cs.
Fourier number
mass Fourier number
f1, f2
variable term in heat transfer's B.Cs.
Green's function of heat transfer
Green's function of mass transfer
g1, g2
variable term in mass transfer's B.Cs.
Heaviside function
~ ; h
average convective heat transfer coefcient,

~m ; h
k1, , k6

W m2 K1

average convective mass transfer coefcient, m s1

water latent heat of evaporation, J kg1
thermal conductivity, W m1 K1
length of quince slice, m
original operator of heat transfer Eq.
original operator of mass transfer Eq.
adjoint operator of heat transfer Eq.
adjoint operator of mass transfer Eq.
Lewis number
moisture content in wet basis,kg water.(kg product)1
counter of eigenfunction expansion for
nondimensional moisture content
counter of eigenfunction expansion for
nondimensional temperature
constant parameter
saturated water vapour pressure at surface, Pa

convective drying process, since Wu and Irudayaraj (1996) proved

that process of convective drying may be assumed as an isothermal
process. Of course, this presumption is well-founded only when the
value of Biot number is adequately small. Heat and mass transfer
equations are solved one-dimensionally for various materials by
Barati and Esfahani, (2011a, 2011b, 2012, 2013). The equations were
solved by making use of Duhamel's integral, which contains
dependent boundary conditions. Other simplifying assumptions
are also pursued such as regular geometrics, symmetry, object to be
isotropic and inert, uniform moisture and temperature at the rst.
These solutions have been proposed for geometries in Cartesian
Green's functions are named after George Green, the British
mathematician who was the rst one developed the concept in
1830s. Duffy (2001) investigated Green's function with applications and for various equations such as diffusion equation, he
offered a general mode of the Green's function. The base of physical
interpretation of Green's function has a long association with heat
transfer regarding solving transfer equations. Hence in mathematic
point of view, the beauty of solving heat and mass transfer


eigenfunction of heat transfer
eigenfunction of mass transfer
gas constant, kJ mol1 K1
relative humidity of drying air, %
temperature, K
time, s
velocity of drying air, m s1
Volume, m3
wh1 ; wh2 ; wh3 nondimensional temperature with constant
wm1 ; wm2 ; wm3 nondimensional moisture content with
constant parameters
moisture content in dry basis,kg water.(kg dry
axial coordinate, m
nondimensional axial coordinate


thermal diffusivity, m2 s1

eigenvalue of mass transfer
Delta function
bulk density of product, kg m3
density of solid product, kg m3
density of water, kg m3
temperature (TTg), K
nondimensional temperature
independent variable in Green's function like z
independent variable in Green's function like t
nondimensional moisture content
eigenvalue of heat transfer

at equilibrium
at interphase
counter of mass transfer's eigenvalues
counter of heat transfer's eigenvalues
air phase
initial condition

free stream

equations using Green's function method is the physical interpretation of Green's function. Also for a certain equation, major
structure of Green's function is singular and it's not related to the
boundary conditions and it can be used in future investigations.
Kevin D. Cole (2004) discussed three forms of Green's function for
several boundary conditions for steady heat conduction in a right
circular cylinder. His results show better convergence for the
double sum series in comparison to the classic triple-sum series. He
also developed a new triple-sum form with the method of time
partitioning. David H. Y. Yen and James V. Beck (Yen and Beck, 2004)
studied a boundary value problem for steady heat conduction in a
three dimensional composite using Green's function. They gained
different representations of the solutions with different convergence characteristics. Their work reveals the advantage of Green's
function over the classical method of separation of variables.
J.A. Esfahani et al. (2015) presented a three-dimensional
analytical solution of transport problem of convection drying using Green's function method (GFM) and then temperature and
moisture distributions within the moist object obtained as functions of independent place and time variables. It is seen that there is


S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

a good consistency between their results and existing numerical

and experimental solutions. But the most important assumption in
their study was ignoring the evaporation term in modeling and this
assumption is the weak point of their study. Also such as other
articles (Barati and Esfahani, 2011a, 2011b, 2012, 2013), their solution has been proposed for geometry in Cartesian coordinates.
Green's function method is a powerful method which is used for
solving linear partial differential equations as well as for nonhomogeneous equations while the boundary conditions are timedependent. But the GFM alone cannot solve the system of
coupled partial differential equations (PDEs). The objective of this
paper is to promote the application of Green's function method to
convective drying process and ll a gap in analytical modeling of
coupled heat and mass transfer and to extend the validity of the
proposed model is a supplement for the recently published paper
(J.A. Esfahani et al., 2015) because unlike previous article, the
evaporation term is considered in present study and therefore
present study xes the weaknesses of previous article.
With studying previous researches (Barati and Esfahani, 2011a,
2011b, 2012, 2013, Esfahani et al., 2015; Kaya et al., 2009, 2006,
2008; Oztop and Akpinar, 2007; Chandra Mohan and Talukdar,
2010; Esfahani et al., 2014; Ruiz Celma et al., 2012; Schossler
et al., 2012) that have been done in this class of studies, it becomes clear that a major problem in these types of studies is the
existence of evaporation process in convective drying that with
mathematical modeling of that process, a strong coupling between
heat and mass transfer equations will be created. About this
coupling, the important thing is that it appears in boundary conditions and in fact, the equations will be coupled in their boundary
conditions. From the standpoint of analytical and mathematical
methods, there is a big gap in the analytical solution of these
equations and available analytical studies are about some special
cases with approximations. Maybe it can be stated that, in the eld
of mathematical and analytical solutions considering the evaporation term, no solution is performed in cylindrical coordinates, up to
now. Of course, it should be noted that some good numerical solutions have been done in this context previously. Therefore, the
present study can be a starting point for analytical studies of
convective drying process in cylindrical coordinates in which the
evaporation term is considered. Also, the physical interpretation of
the Green's function method has a direct relationship with heat
transfer and this added to the beauty of solution, mathematically.
The analytical solution is one-dimensional in the present study
for convective drying process. However, The results of Dimitrios A.
Tzempelikos et al. (2015)'s research are used for convective heat
transfer coefcients. Convective mass transfer coefcients are
calculated using the analogy between the thermal and concentration boundary layers. Green's function method has been used to
solve equations of transport problem with time dependent
boundary conditions. Temperature and moisture content distribution are obtained by using a novel mathematical method that can
be named Repitition and Correction method (RCM). Two weighted
functions dened for moisture content and temperature in order to
take the variations of variable parameters into account. The ndings well-complied with the experimental results are generated by
Tzempelikos et al. (2015). Thus, it is obtained a new appropriate
solution technique for engineering purposes with acceptable accuracy using lower cost and less time compared to numerical and
experimental methods. At last, the effects of Biot number and
relative humidity on drying kinetics are investigated.

during the drying process is the evaporative process. The required

energy to maintain the evaporation generated from the convective
energy to the food. The food during the transport process undergone two distinct occurrences: food temperature increase towards
air temperature and temperature decrease because of evaporation
happening. As it is obvious, heat is added to the food and the
moisture is immigrated from food. The moisture of the food
transfers to the surface by diffusion. The concentration gradient
developed by the evaporation of water on the surface is the driving
force for water diffusion inside the moist object, due to the variation of the water vapor partial pressure between the surface and
the hot air.
The properties of the moist object and physical conditions are
presented in Table 1. In developing the model, the following assumptions are made:
 One-dimensional mass transfer in the moist object by diffusion
(in parallel with axial coordinate)
 One-dimensional heat transfer in the moist object by conduction (in parallel with axial coordinate)
 considering shrinkage during drying only for calculation of rs
 Insignicant radiation effect
 Homogenous food
 Initial uniform temperature and water content within the food
In the present study, with respect to the drying process of
quince slices, mentioned assumptions are taken into account. They
may not reduce the ability of proposed model to reproduce the
experimental drying data. During convective drying, the diffusion is
operated as the controlling mechanism of mass transfer. This
mechanism has been successfully applied in several studies to
model the drying fruits and vegetables (Hernandez et al., 2000;
Tzempelikos et al., 2015; Barati and Esfahani, 2012). It is an actual
fact in food drying that foods shrink during the process. Nonetheless, depends on the food nature and physical conditions, the value
of shrinkage effects on the temperature and moisture history.
Furthermore, the food is considered to be homogeneous. These
presumptions are common in engineering applications due to
providing satisfactory accuracy and substantial decrease in calculating cost.
2.1. Model of mass transfer
A one-dimensional Fickian diffusion model of moisture transfer
is applied to simulate the time evolution of the local moisture
content, spatial distribution, in the quince slices during drying:

v2 X
Deff 2
with the following initial and boundary conditions:

2. Mathematical model
The different mechanism occurring on food during drying process is shown in Fig. 1. One of the substantial phenomena that occur

Fig. 1. Quince slice is subjected to convective drying.


S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

Table 1
Quince properties and physical conditions (Tzempelikos et al., 2015).

Values or relations


4.274 kg/kg (d.b)

289.5 K
40  C, 50  C, 60  C







Xz; tjt0 X0
rs Deff

rs Deff


~ m Cj
z0  Cg
vz z0

~ Cj
zL  Cg
vz zL



The diffusivity depends generally on moisture content and

temperature for foods as well, but according to some previous
studies (Hernandez et al., 2000; Tzempelikos et al., 2015; Esfahani
et al., 2015; Kaya et al., 2006; Chandra Mohan and Talukdar, 2010;
Ruiz Celma et al., 2012), the well-known Arrhenius equation which
assumes only temperature dependency of moisture diffusivity is
used. About variations of Deff along z, it is obvious that it is negligible if temperature's dependency to z is small. For small sizes of
foods, temperature variations along z is small (Barati and Esfahani,
2011a; Adhikari et al., 2003; Patel and Chen, 2008; Chen, 2005) and
so variations of Deff along z is negligible (vDeff =vzy0). A temperature dependence of the effective diffusion coefcient is assumed,
following an Arrhenius type equation:


D0 exp 
Rg T


where D0 is the pre-exponential factor of the Arrhenius equation, Ea

is the activation energy, Rg is the gas constant, T is the absolute
temperature, resulting to the equation:

Deff 5:492  10



It is known that Deff is a function of two variables including z and

t. For simplicity, the value of z is assumed to be equal to the
midpoint of the moist object. As a result, the parameter Deff will be
solely a function of t.
The vapor concentration at the quince slice's surfaces
(Cjz0 &CjzL ) and also the concentration of water vapor in hot
air (Cg) are obtained from the ideal gas law (Eqs. (7)e(9)), as a
function of the water activity, aw:


of food to vapor pressure of pure water at a given temperature.

Factually, it is a distinctive factor of each product that, being characterized by its own construction, determines how intense the
bounds between water and food structure are. As food moisture
content decreases, water activity of food decreases, thus only the
free water evaporates is denoted by a unity value of water activity.
The bounded water is removed as well when the water activity is
less than unity. Water activity on external food surface can be
described as (CHEN, 1971):

aw expk1  k2 $expk3 M


where M X/(X 1). aw plays a role in boundary conditions of mass

transfer equation (Eqs. (3) and (4)). Then the value of z for front face
(Eq. (3)) and back face (Eq. (4)) is equal to zero and L, respectively.
By giving these values to z, the right hand sides of Eqs. (3) and (4)
become time dependent parameters and consequently the
boundary conditions become time dependent. In fact, the evaporation term in boundary conditions make a strong coupling between temperature and moisture content that couples many
parameters to each other, e.g., aw is not independent of Diffusivity,
latent heat of evaporation and heat conductivity.
Eq. (10) is necessary to correctly depict the complicated steps
involved in drying process. It must be noted that water activity is an
individual parameter of each food and determines how intense the
connections between food structure and water are. The Eq. (10)
offered by CHEN (1971), where the coefcients k1, k2 and k3 are
obtained by Noshad et al. (2013). experimentally. The saturated
water vapor pressure at surface can be written as (ASHRAE, 2009):

5:8  103
1:391  4:864  102 T 4:176
Pvs exp

 105 T 2  1:445  108 T 3 6:545lnT


Average convective mass transfer coefcient was appraised

based on convective heat transfer coefcient using analogy between the layers of thermal and concentration boundary:

hm h


where the data from Dimitrios A. Tzempelikos et al. (2015) is used

for values of h that presented in Table 2. Lewis number (Le)
demonstrate the ratio between thermal and concentration
boundary layer thicknesses. For most applications, n is considered
1/3 (Incropera and Dewitt, 1996).
2.2. Model of heat transfer

Pvs jTT0;t
Cjz0 2:1667  103 $aw jz0 $
T0; t


While analyzing the drying process, the simultaneous mass and

heat transfer must be considered. A simple mathematical modeling
in comparison with spatially distributed heat transfer equation is
provided by considering negligible temperature gradient. Being a
temperature gradient within the food, governing equation is heat
transfer equation with two boundary conditions and initial

Pvs jTTL;t
CjzL 2:1667  103 $aw jzL $
TL; t


Table 2
Average convective heat transfer coefcients mw2 K (Tzempelikos et al., 2015).

RH Pvs jTTg
Cg 2:1667  103 $




Tg ( C)


The ratio of water activity is between the water vapor pressure














S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

condition, which makes the analytical solution of the problem

more complicated. The model of heat conduction in a solid body
can be written as:

v2 T
a 2


with the following initial and boundary conditions:

Tz; tjt0 T0


~ Tj



fg s eff
vz z0
vz z0



~ Tj



fg s eff
vz zL
vz zL



Deff t



; Fom

; Fo Le$Fom ; Le


3. Solution procedure
As it is mentioned in the previous section, the parameters Deff,
kp, rs and cp (and as a result a) are variable. For solving the equations with considering these variations, the weighted functions
method has been used like the recently published article (J.A.
Esfahani et al., 2015). Then at the rst step, let's assume that these
parameters are constant and at the end, apply the effect of these
parameters' variations by using weighted functions approximation.
Introducing Biot numbers (Bi and Bim) is necessary to relate internal
and external resistances to mass or heat uxes. In order to identify
controlling mechanisms, these dimensionless variables are functional (Giner et al., 2010). Heat and mass transfer controlled
mechanisms can be inferred directly from differential transfer
equations if they are rewritten in terms of dimensionless variables.
Rewriting governing equations in terms of the following dimensionless variables is a common engineering practice:

~ L
; z* ; Bi1 1 ;

~ L
~m L
~m L
T  Tg
X  Xe
; Bi0m1
; Bi0m2
; j

; q
X0  Xe X0
T0  Tg q0


Cj *  Cg
Cj *  Cg
cp q0
; Em1 z 0 ; Em2 z 1 ; g1 Fom Bi0m1 $Em1 ;
rs X0
rs X0
g2 Fom Bi0m2 $Em2 ; Eh Le$Ja1 $X0 $


where a kp/rcp. The density of the solid material rs ( dry mass/

total volume) is allowed to vary in the calculations. At any time of
drying process, rs is calculated according to the lost water and the
bulk density (rb). With these concepts, rs is calculated according to
the following relationship:


rb0 Vt0 1  M0

rb Vt 1M0 X0 X
Vt0  0 0 r


where rb k4 k5 $X k6 $X 2 (Koc et al., 2008). The thermophysical properties of the matter are functions of the moisture content,
based on the following relationships (Tzempelikos et al., 2015):

kp 0:148 0:493M


cp 1:26 2:97M  1000


It is necessary to mention that the term on the left side of Eqs.

(15) and (16) indicates the heat conducted from the front surface to
the back surface of the quince slice, the rst term on the right side
denotes heat penetrating from the environment to the food via
convection. The second term on the right side of Eqs. (15) and (16)
considered as the heat of evaporation of the water leaving the
surface, where hfg is the water latent heat of evaporation, given by
the following equation (ASHRAE, 2009):

hfg 2501:05  103 

647:3  T
647:3  273:15


Replacing the dimensionless variables in the Eqs. (1)e(4) and

(13)e(16) can produce the following dimensionless equations:
 Non-dimensional mass transfer equation with its boundary

v2 j

vFom vz*2


Fom 0 : j 1


z* 0 : jZ * g1 Fom


z* 1 : jz* g2 Fom


 Non-dimensional heat transfer equation with its boundary


v2 q

vFo vz*2


Fo 0 : q 1


z* 0 : Bi1 q* q*z* Eh f1 Fo


z* 1 : Bi2 q* q*z* Eh f2 Fo


As the equations demonstrate, both equations which are the

heat and mass transfer equations, are completely coupled to each

S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

other, therefore none of those two can be solved without having

one of their solution. A new way is proposed here. Eh term associate
the heat transfer equation to j and g(Fom) term associate the mass
transfer equation to q*. These two terms are related to the evaporation at surface. In some studies, these terms are neglected
(Esfahani et al., 2015; Kaya et al., 2009, 2006, 2008; Oztop and
Akpinar, 2007; Chandra Mohan and Talukdar, 2010; Esfahani
et al., 2014). Here, the acceptability of this hypothesis is neglected
and it must be briey reminded that in some cases of moist objects
like apple the amount of unbound moisture is less than bound
moisture and constant drying rate period can be neglected
(Mujumdar, 2006). Due to this reason, the effects of the evaporation
are neglected in these studies. Thus, removing this term as a
rudimentary approximation would be appropriate. Assuming that
Eh 0 and by substituting g(Fom) term with Bi0m j , the equations
are transformed into a classic type of diffusion equation and will be
separated. The analytic solution of these two equations in the new
shape, is available from previous study (Esfahani et al., 2015):


0 *

G1 L q ds1



 X n
Bm $exp  bm Fom $ bm cos bm z*
j z* ; Fom

Bi0m1 sin b0m z*

ln Bi1 Bi2
l2n  Bi1 Bi2

q* L*1 G1 ds1 ; L*1


vFo vz*2


G2 L jds2


G2 jjFo


 G2 jz*  G2Z * j  dFom



The Eq. (32) is an implicit equation which has no analytical solution. There is a tangent expression at the left side of the equation
with p period. The left hand side expression is intersected by the
right hand side expression once at each p. Hence, ln is in the nth
positive p. The rst twenty ln are attained using numerical method
and Maple 17.02 software. An and Bm have been dened in the
previous study. This solution is named primary solution. Now with
considering the main shape of the equations (Eqs. (22)e(29)) and
by making use of primary solution, Eh and g(Fom) are calculable.
Now by having these two terms, each equation can be solved
without removing these two terms. Although it is necessary to
consider the point that these two terms are the function of time (in
the dimensionless form, functions of Fo and Fom) and in order to
solve the two equations, a method must be used to encompasses
the time dependant boundary conditions. Thus, the Green's function method is used since the overall form of Green's function is
available thanks to the previous study (Esfahani et al., 2015). Eqs.
(22) and (26) are written operationally:

jL*2 G2 ds2 ; L*2


where ln is calculated from this relation:



G1 q 
 G1 q*z*  G1Z* q*  dFo
* Fo


q* z* ; Fo

$ ln cos ln z*

Bi1 sin ln z*



vFom vz*2


where G1 and G2 indicates Green's functions of heat and mass

transfer equations respectively. ds1 and ds2 indicates the differential elements in solution domains of heat and mass transfer
equations which are here equal to dz*  dFo and dz*  dFom
respectively. L*1 and L*2 represents the adjoint differential operator
related to the original differential operators. The expressions L*1 G1
and L*2 G2 are made equal to Delta function:

L*1 G1 d x  z* ; t1  Fo


L*2 G2 d x  z* ; t2  Fom


where x, t1 and t2 are variables of Green's functions.

Eqs. (35) and (36) can be rewritten by taking L*1 G1 and L*2 G2
equal to Delta function in them and using Delta function features
and substituting Eqs. (33) and (34) in them as follows:

q* z* ; Fo

G1 jt0 dx

G1 1; t1 $f2 t1

 G1 0; t1 $f1 t1 dt1



j z ; Fom

G2 jt0 dx

G2 1; t2 $g2 t2

 G2 0; t2 $g1 t2 dt2

L0 q* 0; L0


vFo vz*2


L00 j 0; L00


vFom vz*2


After integration of G1 L0q* and G2 L00 j expressions in solution

domain of 1 and 2 by using integration by parts, nally
following expressions is attained:



For solving Eqs. (39) and (40) in order to obtain q* and j, initially
Green's functions must be determined. These functions are as follows (Esfahani et al., 2015):

G1 HFo  t1 n1 An exp  ln Fo  t1 q1n xq1n z* ;

q1n x ln cosln x Bi1 sinln x



S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

G2 HFom  t2 1
2 exp  bm Fom  t2 q2m xq2m z* ;


q2m x cosbm x; bm mp

The difference in the overall form of the Eqs. (41) and (42) is due
to the difference between the boundary conditions of heat and
mass transfer equations. So that, Robin-Robin (R-R) type of
boundary conditions is used for heat transfer and NewmanNewman (R-R) type of boundary conditions is used for mass
transfer. Green's function here is a variant of temperature distribution and in fact it is originally a variant of the original function.
Indeed, in t1 Fo a thermal source and in t2 Fom a concentration
source operate straightway with a unit strength at x z* and
Green's functions explain the distribution of temperature and
moisture content at Fo > t1 and Fom > t2, whether physically
possible or not (Greenberg, 1971). Therefore in Green's function we
have Heaviside function which equals to 1 in Fo > t1 and Fom > t2
while we have H 0 in Fo < t1 and Fom < t2. By substituting Eqs.
(41) and (42) in Eqs. (39) and (40) and after simplifying, q* and j
can be obtained nally:


q* z* ; Fo 
j z* ; Fom

< Terms resulted =
< Terms resulted =

from initial
from boundary

In the Eq. (43), the rst integral for the Eqs. (39) and (40) is the
generative factor of term f$g2 and the second integral of these
equations is the generative factor of term f$g3 which these factors
indicate initial conditions and boundary conditions of the problem
respectively. Therefore, a more precise solution would be conducted by placing a primary solution in the Eqs. (22)e(29) and
resolving them for the second time. Now let us repeat this solution
replacement in the equations and solution improvement until the
variation of the derived solution would reach to the appropriate
precision. In other words, we substitute the new solution in the
primary solution and calculate the Eh and g(Fom) and solve the
equations again and this process would be continued until the
variation of the two sequential solution reduced. However,
different criteria may be used as the difference of the two
sequential solutions. The surface of the moist object is the best
place for the calculation of error because the primary approximation that is Eh 0 was considered on the surface of the object.
Therefore, a new semi-analytic method was presented for solving
coupled PDEs with time dependent boundary conditions so it can
be called as Repitition and Correction method (RCM). It should be
mentioned that in the calculation of Eh and g(Fom) it is more
appropriate to use the most recent derived q* and j to faster solution convergence to the desired precision. Term f$g2 doesn't
change in different iterations because the initial conditions are always the same but term f$g3 vary in every repetition due to the fact
that term f$g3 is derived from the previous repetition and
Table 3
Effective moisture diffusivity coefcient  1010 ms (Tzempelikos et al., 2015).



Tg ( C)








consequently it varies in every repetition.

As it is mentioned in the beginning of this section, all the variable quantities were assumed constant. Now by making use of
weighted functions, the variation effects of these parameters are
implicated in the nal solution. That is, the solution is conducted
through constant values and the ultimate balance conditions would
be identied. The values of Deff is shown in Table 3. In this study, the
weight function is a polynomial with order two. Therefore, three
different conditions must be determined by three functions. To this
end, q* and j were obtained with three different constant
a. By using temperature and moisture content of the body at the
beginning of the process, variable parameters were calculated.
q* and j were obtained through this calculation and were
named wh1 and wm1 .
b. Variable parameters were calculated in half of the nal time. q*
and j were obtained through this calculation and were named
wh2 and wm2 .
c. By using temperature and moisture content of the body at the
end of the process, variable parameters were calculated. q* and j
were obtained through this calculation and were named wh3
and wm3 .
As a matter of fact, part a, b and c are the moisture content
distribution within the object at the beginning, middle and the end
of the process, respectively. Dimensionless weighted mean function of q* and j were obtained by using these three distributions
during the whole process like previous study (J.A. Esfahani et al
(Esfahani et al., 2015).). The sequences of steps that sum up the
process of the application of Repitition and Correction method
(RCM) are presented in the following:
Step 1: Consider Eh 0 and substitute the term g(Fom) with
Bi0m j.
Step 2: Solve equations and obtain primary solution.
Step 3: Calculate Eh and g(Fom) terms by making use of primary
Step 4: Solve the original equations and obtain the new q* and j.
Step 5: Repeat step 3 and 4 until the desired precision is
In Fig. 2, these steps are presented as a ow chart. The green area
in Fig. 2 is related to Green's function method that is common for
solving heat transfer and mass transfer equations and the outside
area is related to the other steps of RCM to considering the variations of Deff, kp, rs and cp (and as a result a).
4. Results and discussion
By using a novel mathematical method (RCM) that combined
with GFM, temperature and moisture content distributions within
the object are semi-analytically obtained. Temperature and moisture content depend on place (z*) and time (Fo). Temperature and
moisture content distributions are measured for two inlet velocities
(1 m/s and 2 m/s) and three inlet temperatures (40  C, 50  C and
60  C) individually.

S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36


Fig. 2. Steps of the process of the RCM and GFM in brief.

Fig. 3. The impact of changes in the nal counter and summation of (a) dimensionless moisture content and (b) dimensionless temperature convergence test for the central point of
the quince slice (U 1 m/s and Tg 50  C).

By making use of MATLAB version (R2010b), all the

gures of this section are drawn. As it is clear from the previous
section, each equation has some sigmas in the range (1). An
eigenvalue is required in each sigma for each number from range
(1). There is no possibility of getting a global answer with all
numbers in the range (1). Therefore, for each counter, 20 positive and consecutive initial eigenvalues are assumed. Fig. 3(a) and
(b) are represented for the center of moist object (U 1 m/s and
T 50  C) and the nal counter amounts to 5, 10 and 20 to check
whether 20 initial eigenvalues are sufcient or not and to assure
that the answers converge as the nal counter rises. Changes of
non-dimensional moisture content in mass Fourier number were
depicted in Fig. 3(a) and changes of non-dimensional temperature
in Fourier number were depicted in Fig. 3(b). As Fig. 3(a) claries,
the curves can be split into two parts: (Fom < 0.02 and Fom > 0.02).
The part Fom > 0.02 is similar for the nal counter n& m 5, 10 and
20. But in the part Fom < 0.02, with increase of n and m the solution
become closer to its actual rate such that non-dimensional moisture content at Fom 0 for n& m 5 is almost 0.95 and it is almost 1
for n& m 20 indicates answer convergence to the actual rate
when nal counter increases.

Fig. 3(b) also have two parts but the borderline rate for these
two parts is Fo 0.2 splitting them into Fo < 0.2 and Fo > 0.2. Like
Fig. 3(a), in the part where Fo > 0.2 is the same for all amounts of n
and m but in Fo < 0.2 when nal counter of n and m rises, nondimensional temperature converges to its actual rate. The curves
are related to the point at the center of the object and thus at rst,
they are perpendicular to the vertical axis (for n& m 20), and then
it is effected by heat and mass transfer just receiving and there
happens greater change in the related curve. However, alteration in
curve for non-dimensional temperature at central point happens
with celerity than alteration in curve for non-dimensional moisture
content, since heat transfer rate is higher than mass transfer rate.
Fig. 4 claries validation of this study based on experimental
data from Dimitrios A. Tzempelikos et al. research (Tzempelikos
et al., 2015). The gures demonstrate time-depended (a and c)
moisture content and (b and d) temperature. Inlet ow velocity is (a
and b) U 1 m/s and (c and d) U 2 m/s. Based upon experimental data for moisture content and temperature, maximum
relative error is 9.3% and 14.7% respectively. These error rates are
reliable for engineering applications due to analytical solution,
using less time and lower cost than numerical methods and there is


S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

Fig. 4. Change of (a and c) moisture content and (b and d) temperature during the drying and compare it with data from Dimitrios A. Tzempelikos et al. research for (a and b)
U 1 m/s and (c and d) U 2 m/s (Tzempelikos et al., 2015).

Fig. 5. (a) Dimensionless moisture content and (b) dimensionless temperature proles developing within the food in axial direction at different drying times (U 2 m/s and
Tg 40  C).

a good suitability among the results.

By making comparison between temperature and moisture

S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

curves, it is obvious that the effect of heat transfer distribute in the

moist object more rapidly than moisture transfer. Therefore, temperature curves change earlier than moisture content curves. The
same is clear for temperature convergence to hot air temperature
such that temperature converges to its nal rate quicker than
moisture content. Indeed, this rapid convergence of temperature is
due to higher heat transfer rate than mass transfer rate or the wellknown Lewis number being higher than 1 (Le a/D > 1). This issue
can be seen in Fig. 3 in a way that Fom 2 (0,0.35) and Fo 2 (0,20)
and this wild difference is justiable by the relation Fo Le$Fom.
Fig. 4 also claries that at rst, temperature and moisture content
changes are higher and gradually the change is lower due to
approaching temperature and moisture content of the moist object
to the hot air temperature and moisture content. As a result, the
gradient of temperature and moisture gradually reduces and
therefor transfer of heat and mass decreases.
Fig. 5(a) and (b) claries non-dimensional moisture content and
non-dimensional temperature curves within the moist object over
mass Fourier number and Fourier number, respectively. These gures are demonstrated under conditions (U 2 m/s and
T 40  C) to give a better vision of how temperature and moisture
content are scattered inside the quince slice during drying process.
The non-dimensional moisture content and non-dimensional
temperature of quince reduce over time, since there is gradients
for temperature and moisture content between moist object surface and hot air. The moisture of moist object is transferred to the
hot air in form of vapor, as a result of diverse vapor pressures between the surface of moist object and drying hot air. Fig. 5(a) and
(b) indicates that extremum points of non-dimensional moisture
content and non-dimensional temperature curves and the
geometrical center of quince slice are not coincided and it is closer
to the back surface. These points proceed towards back surface
progressively over time farther than front surface. This dissymmetry is due to unparallel and dissymmetrical pattern of heat
transfer between front surface and back surface. Temperature in
front surface is higher due to its higher heat transfer in comparison
with back surface at a particular time. As a matter of fact, owing to
its higher heat transfer rate, the temperature of front surface converges at hot air more rapidly. However, in the case of temperature,

Fig. 6. Mass Fourier number evolution of surface dimensionless moisture content with
air relative humidity as the parameter (U 2 m/s and Tg 40  C).


Fig. 7. Fourier number evolution of surface dimensionless temperature with air relative humidity as the parameter (U 2 m/s and Tg 40  C).

the temperature prole demonstrates only small gradients along

the moist object, which vanish rapidly. This particular behavior is
principally attributed to the low heat transfer Biot number, which
range between 0.22 and 0.48. These values are of the same order of
magnitude compared to the limit of thermally-thin-materials set
to the order of 0.1. In other words the resistance to convection
across the uid boundary layer is much more than the resistances
to conduction within the quince slice (Incropera and Dewitt, 1996).
By making comparison between Fig. 5(a) and (b), it is clear that
temperature change quince slice is higher than moisture content
change at the beginning of the process. Due to the fact that the
Lewis number is higher than one, the effect of temperature change
is transferred more rapidly within the object than mass transfer
The starting point is probably a wet bulb condition. This

Fig. 8. Fourier number evolution of surface saturated water vapor pressure with air
relative humidity as the parameter (U 2 m/s and Tg 40  C).


S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

phenomena can be seen in Figs. 4 (b) and (d) that is plotted for the
midpoint of moist object. Actually the temperature of midpoint of
moist object does not reach close to the equilibrium temperature, at
once and after initial temperature increasing, it is increased with a
gentle slope. This phenomena can be explained by the evaporative
cooling effect due to the rapid moisture ux on the surface during
the early stages of drying. The rapid moisture ux on the surface of
the product during this period requires more energy for moisture
evaporation and hence, less heat received by the product initially.
Then, as the moisture ux decreases in the later stages of drying,
the product temperature is gradually increased approaching close
to the equilibrium with the drying air temperature. It was also
found that a temperature gradient exists within the product
particularly in the initial stages of drying that is a common outcome
from Figs. 4 ((b) and (d)) and 5(b).
Figs. 6 and 7 demonstrate the mass Fourier number and Fourier
number evolutions of non-dimensional moisture content and nondimensional temperature at surface of the food with inlet air
relative humidity. Signicant increase in temperature and slight
increase in moisture content can be seen when the relative humidity of air increases from 5% to 40%. When free water is removed
from the food, an increase in relative humidity of air from 5% to 40%
signicantly lowers the drying rate due to a decrease in the drying
force which promotes moisture transfer. As drying progress, the
internal resistance to mass transfer represents the rate limiting
step. Fig. 8 claries the saturated water vapor pressure at surface
against Fourier number. From the present study, at the beginning of
process the surface vapor pressure rises with a little moisture
decrement. Subsequently, when the process rate is controlled by
mass transfer and the water leaving the food is bounded to the food
structure, a progressively reduction of pressure slope is seen.
Finally, the process nalize when the moisture steam pressure
within the quince slice is the same with the one in the air drying.
Some cases with different conditions were shown in Table 4 in
order to investigate the variation effect of Bi and Bim on the drying
process. Figs. 9 and 10 were concluded with respect to the table.
Fig. 9 presents the Fourier number evolution of food nondimensional temperature with Biot number. An increase in Biot
number corresponds to a decrease in external resistances to heat
and mass transfer. This causes sharp increment of food temperature
which can be evidently observed when free water evaporates and
leaves the food. Fig. 10 displays the saturated water vapor pressure
at surface against Fourier number for different cases. In Fig.10, the
variations of the curves are very similar to the Fig. 9 with the
increasing bond indeed because Pvs is a function of temperature as
it is mentioned in the previous section. By comparing Figs. 8 and 10,
it is seen that the values of Pvs in the Fig. 10 are more than Fig. 8. This
is due to the difference of the drying hot air's temperature between
Figs. 7 and 9 which is consequently resulted in the increase of the
temperature of the moist object in the Fig. 9, therefore Pvs in the
Fig. 10 have more values than Fig. 8.

Fig. 9. Fourier number evolution of food dimensionless temperature with Biot number
as the parameter for different cases.

Fig. 10. Fourier number evolution of surface saturated water vapor pressure with Biot
number as the parameter for different cases.

5. Generalization of the presented method

In order to make the used method more applicable in the

Table 4
Different cases for studying the effects of variations of Biot and mass Biot numbers.




Tg ( C)







Fig. 11. Solution's domain of general boundary value problem.

S.M. Vahidhosseini et al. / Journal of Food Engineering 187 (2016) 24e36

present study, the properties of the modeling of studies that can

use the presented method, should be mentioned. In general, two
linear partial differential equations (Linear PDEs) of second order,
with two independent variables x and y (sometimes, t) can be
formulated as:


A uxx B0 uxy C0 uyy D0 ux E0 uy F0 u

A uxx B uxy C uyy D ux E uy F u

where L and L are the original differential operators and
A0 ; A ; B0 ; ; f0 and f are the given functions of x and y. The solution's domain of Eq. (44) is with the following general linear
time-dependent boundary conditions,



a u b000un f 0
a u b un f


on the boundary's curve G of the solution's domain where un and

u0n demonstrate the outward normal derivatives vu/vn and vu /vn,
respectively, and a , a , b , b , f and f are functions dened on G, as
shown in Fig. 11.
The terms f and f can be the functions of u and u on the
boundary curve G, respectively (f 0 f 0 u0 jG & f f uG ). Then,
because of the terms f and f , the system of Eq. (44) is a coupled
PDEs system. The presented method (RCM) can solve the system of
Eq. (44) using Green's function method. The GFM is applicable only
for differential operators that satisfy superposition principle. In
fact, most operators encountered in Engineering have the basic
requirement, e.g., the diffusion equation (such as the present
study), wave equation, Laplace equation and so on. The steps for
solving system of coupled Eq. (44) are presented briey in the


Step 1: Consider f and f equal to zero and obtain the uncoupled

Step 2: Solve uncoupled equations and obtain primary solutions.
Step 3: Calculate f and f terms by making use of primary
Step 4: Solve the original equations and obtain the new u and u
and replace them with primary solutions.
Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the desired precision is
Note that every two or three dimensional equation can be
solved using product solution method. Furthermore, the method of
weighted functions can be used in order to apply the variations of
parameters, with approximation.
6. Conclusions
A new mathematical solution is conducted to measure distribution of temperature and moisture content inside quince slice by
making use of Green's function method. Illustrating transport
phenomena in drying of quince slice is the aim of the present
investigation. The mathematical model developed in this study is
very comprehensive and can be employed to predict transient
variations in temperature and moisture content distributions of
quince slice with acceptable accuracy. The proposed model is
particularly useful for determination which set of operating conditions would enhance the quality and safety of the nal product.
The results in brief are:


 A new mathematical method is presented for solving coupled

PDEs in the convective drying process based on solution repetition and improvement.
 This solution explain the simplicity of the Green's function in
order to solve heat and mass transfer problems using laboratory
equipment for data entry without any need to complex numerical methods.
 In coupled equations, solution of equations (presuming xed
variables) and weighted functions approximation, can be used
to interfere the inuence of variables into solution with an
acceptable approximation.
 The results of simulations are found to be in noticeable
concurrence with experimental data in terms of time evolutions
of food temperature and moisture content.
 It is explained that heat and mass Biot numbers and relative
humidity have a substantial part only during the primary stage
of the drying process.
 It is seen that when external resistance to mass transfer control
the drying, history of water activity depends on Biot number.
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