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Available online at http:// www.ijappjournal.com

ISSN 2051-1914 ©2013 VictorQuest Publications

Energy in Drying of Thyme Leaves (Part Π)

1 2 2 3 3

Mohammad Esmaeili Adabi , Saeid Minaei , Ali Motavalli , Ahmad Taghizadeh , Mohsen Azadbakht

2- Department of Agricultural Machinery Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University.

3- Department of Agricultural Machinery Mechanics, Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources University of

Gorgan, Gorgan, Iran.

Abstract

Thin layer drying characteristics of thyme leaves (Anethum sowa L.) under fluidized (air

velocity 2.8 m/s), semi fluidized (air velocity 2.1 m/s) and fixed bed (air velocity 1.2 m/s)

drying conditions were studied at various air temperatures (40, 50, 60 and 70°C). The

effective moisture diffusivity of thyme leaves occurred during 2 periods in the drying

-10 2

process. Results show that the effective moisture diffusivity was 0.243-6.08×10 (m /s)

-11 2

for the first period and 0.311-12.17 ×10 (m /s) for the second period. The values of

activation energy for thyme leaves drying in the first period ranged from 62.71 to 99.52

and from 67.96 to 104.77 (kJ/mol) in the second period. Also the energy consumption

and the required specific energy for drying were in the range of 5.37 and 16.90 kW.h and

358.03 and 1126.83 (kW h/kg), respectively.

keywords: Energy Consumption, Activation Energy, Effective Moisture Diffusion, Thyme leaves

Introduction

Some of the medicinal properties of thyme (Thymus vulgaris) are widening of pulmonary arteries and

reducing coughs, anti-bacterial effect, anti-spasm of digestion tract (nausea), and also thinning of phlegm.

Currently, in most countries medicinal plants are becoming more popular due to complications caused by

synthetic drugs, high costs of synthetic drugs production, and exclusive treatment of certain diseases (e.g.,

leprosy, Aleppo boil, etc.) using medicinal plants (Ahmadi Chenarbon et al., 2011).

Drying action by which water activity due to a food remove almost all the water in which there will stop.

The main purpose of drying is increasing the storage period, weight, volume of material (for packing and

transportation) and preventing biological activities such as microbial and enzyme (Koyuncu et al., 2007).

During storage of agricultural products depend on two physical factors of temperature and moisture. With

decreasing temperature or humidity or both can be significantly increased during this period. Factors affecting

the time and energy consumption during the drying process are: 1-physical properties of product 2- The

geometric shape 3-Relative humidity 4- Temperature (Air Products) 5- Equilibrium moisture content 6-Initial

moisture content of the product 7- Original compositions. Each of the above mentioned factors have a direct

effect on the speed, and rate energy consumption during the drying process (Aghbashlo et al., 2008).

Hot airflow drying could be performed on three different types of drying beds, namely fixed, semi-fluidized,

and fluidized. Fluidization is defined as suspending the vegetable bed (thyme leaves) in air flow. With the

gradual increase in air flowing through a bed of vegetable, fixed bed, minimum fluidized bed (semi fluidized

bed), bubbling fluidized bed and transportation will be created, respectively (Chayjan et al., 2011).

The advantages of fluidized bed drying are the uniform final moisture content of products, high

temperatures for drying, high drying capacity due to better transfer of mass and heat, smaller drying chamber,

lower costs, lower energy consumption, and higher product quality (Soponronnarit, 1999).

Studies on effective moisture diffusivity and activation energy in thin layer drying of vegetables and fruits

include: a constant rate and a falling rate phase. Furthermore, the major part of the drying process occurs at

the falling rate phase. Two well-defined falling rate periods are observed in the drying of some agriculture

products. Each falling rate period corresponds to an approximately constant slope from which the effective

Intl. J. Agron. Plant. Prod. Vol., 4 (9), 2404-2412, 2013

diffusion coefficients are calculated. The drying rates have more than one falling rate period that are reported

for apple (Velic et al., 2004), Jujube fruit (Motevali et al., 2012) and Iranian pistachios (Kouchakzadeh, 2010).

Although considerable data exists in the literature regarding the energy consumption for drying of various

agricultural commodities such as mulberry (Akbulut and Durmus, 2010), garlic cloves (Sharma et al., 2006),

pistachios (Midilli et al., 2003), longan (Tippayawong et al., 2008), pomegranate arils (Motevali et al., 2011),

nettle leaves (Alibas, 2007), berberis fruit (Aghbashlo et al., 2008), azarole (Koyuncu et al., 2007), carrot

slices (Aghabashlo et al., 2009), red pepper (Akpinar et al., 2004), coroba slices (Corzo et al., 2008), potato

(Akpinar et al., 2005), and carrot cubes (Nazghelichi et al., 2010) little information is available on the energy

consumption and specific energy consumption in different bed drying of agriculture products.

Although there is ample information about the drying of medicinal plants using fixed bed drying, very little

information is available on drying of thyme with semi-fluidized and fluidized beds. Also, very little information

is available on using dynamic neural networks for the convective drying of thyme leaves using fixed, semi-

fluidized and fluidized bed conditions.

Therefore, the objectives of this study were as follows:

1- Amount of energy used and specific energy consumption during drying of thyme leaves

2- Determining the effective moisture diffusivity (in two phases) and activation energy (in two phases) for

thyme leaves.

Freshly harvested thyme leaves were purchased from a local farm in Karaj, Alborz province, and samples

o

were stored in a refrigerator at +4 °C. The mean ambient temperature was 28±2 C and the relative humidity

of air was measured as 26±3 % during the experiments. Initial moisture content of fruits was obtained using

the gravimetric method and was determined to be 73.7 % wet basis.

A dryer capable of providing different bed conditions (fixed, semi-fluidized, and fluidized) was used for the

experiments. A centrifugal blower (fan) driven by a 1HP three-phase electromotor was employed to provide

the desired air flow rate. The rotary speed of the electromotor was controlled within zero to its nominal speed

range by an inverter (PSMC-DC, Parto Sanat, Iran) capable of controlling the rotary speed with a 0.1

precision. In order to supply the thermal energy required for the drying process, two thermal elements (2 and

3 kW) were put to use. A type K thermostat (K type, Pooyesh, ±0.1˚C) controlled the input (inlet) air

temperature within the 0 to 100˚C range. Temperature measurements were performed using a sensor (LM35,

National Semiconductor, ±0.1˚C) at both inlet and outlet of the drying apparatu s. Accordingly, the input and

output air’s relative humidity measurements were carried out using HIH-3610, Honeywell, USA, ±2%RH

sensors.

Air parameters were adjusted by measuring temperature and velocity using a thermometer (Lutron, TM-

925, Taiwan) and an anemometer (Anemometer, Lutron-YK, 80AM, Taiwan), respectively. A pressure gauge

(PVR 0606A81, Italy, ±0.1 Pa) and differential digital manometer (Testo 505-P1) was used for recording

fluidization characteristics of bed materials (air velocity against pressure drop) and measuring the inner

pressure of the dryer chamber. Dried samples were weighed using an electronic balance with an accuracy of

±0.01 g, (AND GF-600, Japan).

The maximum value of the static pressure drop versus a specific air velocity in fluidization systems is

defined as the minimum fluidization point or semi fluidized bed (Kunii and Levenspiel, 1991). After

determining the air velocity for semi-fluidized conditions to be about 2.1 m/s, one point below it (in fixed bed

domain) was selected for fixed bed condition with air velocity of 1.2 m/s and one point above the fixed bed

condition as a fluidized bed condition with air velocity of 2.8 m/s. Then the drying experiments were

conducted (Fig. 1). (Chayjan et al., 2012a and b).

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Intl. J. Agron. Plant. Prod. Vol., 4 (9), 2404-2412, 2013

Fig.1. Fluidization curve of thyme leaves and selected points for modeling: A) fix bed (1.2 m/s), B) semi-

fluidized bed (2.1 m/s), and C) fluidized bed (2.8 m/s)

As a foodstuff property, effective moisture diffusivity is defined as the intrinsic moisture mass transfer and

includes molecular diffusion, liquid diffusion, vapor diffusion, hydrodynamic flow and other possible mass

transfer mechanisms (Karathanos et al., 1990; Srinivasa Rao et al., 2007).

Diagram of the natural logarithm of moisture ratio against drying time demonstrates that all curves in all

places have non-linear nature and this is true for all studied drying conditions. This non-linearity of relations

may be due to the assumptions such as: 1- uniform initial moisture, 2- symmetrical mass transfer relative to

center, 3- uniform moisture diffusion within sample mass, 4- ignoring sample shrinkage, and 5- disregarding

surface resistance against transfer compared to its internal resistance and assuming mass transfer solely as

diffusion all of which are not really true (Karathanos et al., 1990; Srinivasa Rao et al., 2007).

It is generally assumed that water transfer in solid matter takes place through molecular diffusion. Current

method for studying mass transfer in an unstable condition, during drying of foodstuff, is the Fick’s equations

(Vega et al., 2007). Most theoretical models studied in thin layer drying of various foodstuffs are a result of

solving the Fick’s second law. The Fick’s law in three dimensional Cartesian coordinates can be expressed as

follows (Doymaz, 2006):

M M M M

D eff D eff D eff (1)

t x x y y z z

Solution of general series of the Fick’s second law in spherical coordinates is shown below, in which

moisture diffusion has been assumed constant, moisture in an equal level with equilibrium moisture and

drying without shrinkage.

Mt Me 8 1 (2n 1) 2 2 Deff

MR

M 0 M e 2 n 0 (2n 1)

exp

4 L 2

(2)

where Mt; Moisture content at any time (kg water /kg dry solid), Me; Equilibrium moisture content (kg water /kg dry

solid), M0; Initial moisture content (kg water /kg dry solid), n stands for the drying terms (1 and 2 and 3 and …)

2

considered in the equation, t drying time (sec), Deff effective diffusivity coefficient (m /s), and L thickness of

thyme leaves (m) assumed constant during the drying process.

Equation 9 is summarized as the following equation 3:

8 2 Deff t

MR 2 exp (3)

4 L2

Equation 10 has been used by many investigators to describe the effective moisture diffusivity coefficient

(Rizvi, 1986; Doymaz, 2005). In this process, the thickness of thyme leaves, L, is assumed to be constant.

Eq. (3) can be simplified to a straight-line equation as:

8 D t

ln( MR ) ln( ) ( 2 eff2 ) (4)

2

4L

Plotting equation (3) against time yields a straight line with slope of K1. By plotting the experimental data

in terms of ln(MR) against time (s), effective diffusivity coefficient is determined.

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Intl. J. Agron. Plant. Prod. Vol., 4 (9), 2404-2412, 2013

2 Deff

2

k1 (5)

4L

Using Arrhenius equation, the relationship between temperature and effective diffusivity is shown in the

following equation by which activation energy can be calculated.

Ea

Deff D0 exp( ) (6)

Rg Tabs

2

where D0 indicates Arrhenius coefficient (m /s), Ea activation energy (kJ/mol), Tabs absolute temperature (k)

and Rg universal gas constant.

The temperature used in equation 6 is the heat surround contained in the dryer environment, so the

assumption of constancy of temperature should be considered in both the effective diffusivity and activation

energy. Equation 6 can become linear by applying logarithm on both sides of equation.

Ea 1

LnDeff LnD0 . (7)

Rg Tabs

Activation energy Ea can be determined by plotting the lnDeff diagram against 1/Tabc and the slope of this

line equals K2 and the abscissa is lnD0.

E a

K 2 (8)

Rg

The amount of energy consumed by the dryer for drying mushroom slices in the hot air dryer at different

air temperatures and velocity levels is calculated using Eq. 1 (Motevali et al., 2011; Aghbashlo et al., 2008):

Et=A υ ρa Ca ΔT t (9)

2

Et is total energy consumption in each drying cycle (kWh), A area of the sample container (m ), υ is air

3

velocity (m/s), ρa density of air (kg/m ), t total sample drying time (h), ΔT temperature difference (°C) and Ca

specific heat of air (kJ/kg °C). Air specific heat is calculated from Eq. 10, the constant 1.004 being the specific

heat of dry air (Aghabashlo et al., 2009):

C pda 1.004 1.88w (10)

Relative humidity was converted to moisture ratio using Eq. (11) (Aghabashlo et al., 2009):

Pvs

w 0.622 (11)

P Pvs

in which w is Relative humidity; p, air pressure (kpa) and Pvs, saturated vapor pressure (kPa). This

conversion is also possible using psychrometric charts.

Figure 2 shows changes in ln(MR) with time (s). Generally, the drying process of agricultural produce occurs

in two different rates (fixed and falling rate). This might be due to the capillary and cellular structure properties

of thyme which affect the evaporation rate throughout the drying process.

0 0 0

0 10000 20000 30000 40000 50000 60000 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 45000 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000

-0.2 -0.2 -0.2

A B

ln(Deff )

-1 -1 -1

40 °C 40 °C 50 °C 50 °C 60 °C 60 °C 70 °C 70 °C 40 °C 40 °C 50 °C 50 °C 60 °C 60 °C 70 °C 70 °C

Fig. 2. Plot of ln(MR) versus time (s) at air velocity of (A) fluidized, (B) semi fluidized and(C) fix beds.

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Intl. J. Agron. Plant. Prod. Vol., 4 (9), 2404-2412, 2013

Considering the variation trend of the ln(MR) curve against time (s), a single straight line could not be

used in predicting the slope of curves. In such processes, two or three lines should be used to obtain the

slope gradient of a curve (Velic et al., 2004; Motevali et al., 2012). Values of the effective moisture diffusion

coefficient for drying of thyme in the first falling rate and the second falling rate periods are presented in

figures 3A and 3B, respectively.

4.00E-10 1.60E-10

B

3.20E-10 1.20E-10

A

2.40E-10

Def f Def f 8.00E-11

1.60E-10

4.00E-11

8.00E-11

0.00E+00

2.

0.00E+00

2.

8

Velocity (m/s)

8

Velocity (m/s)

2

2

40

40

50

1.

50

60

1.

2

60

Fig 3. Effective moisture diffusivity of thyme leaves in the A) first falling rate and B) second falling rate periods

As shown, the effective moisture diffusion coefficient in the first falling rate period is higher than that in

the second falling rate period which might be due to higher evaporation rate during the first period compared

with the second period. This would lead to a steeper curve slope for the first period than the second. Similar

results were reported for the drying of jujube (Motevali et al., 2012) and pistachio (Kouchakzadeh, 2010).

Also, the results showed that increasing temperature and airflow rate would increase the effective

-10 -10 2

moisture diffusion rate so that the highest infiltration rates of 6.085×10 and 1.22×10 m /s could be

achieved at 70 ˚C in the fluidized bed for the first and second periods, respectively. While the l owest infiltration

-11 -12 2

rates of 2.43×10 and 3.11×10 m /s were obtained at fixed bed for the first and second periods,

respectively.

Using multiple regression analysis, relationships were established between the effective moisture diffusion

in the first and second periods, air velocity and air temperature for the convection dryer (Fig. 4 and 5). The

2

equations and their respective coefficients of determination (R ) are given below the figures (Eq.12 and Eq.

13).

Fig 4. Interaction effect of temperature and air velocity (bed types) on the effective moisture diffusion for the

first falling rate period in drying of thyme leaves

2

R =0.974 (12)

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Intl. J. Agron. Plant. Prod. Vol., 4 (9), 2404-2412, 2013

Fig 5. Interaction effect of temperature and air velocity (bed types) on the effective moisture diffusion for the

second falling rate period in drying of thyme leaves.

2

R =0.925 (13)

Presents the values for the activation energy during the first and second periods. According to table 1,

increasing the airflow rate and shifting the product bed from fixed to floating during the drying process would

lead to increased activation energy for both periods. Aerodynamic effects could be the cause of this

phenomenon, considering the change in the product bed from fixed to floating during the drying process.

Similar results were reported by other authors for the drying of pomegranate seed (Chayjan et al., 2012c)

and garlic slices (Chayjan et al., 2012b).

Table1. Activation energy and related correlation coefficient at different bed drying for thin-layer drying of dill

leaves.

Type of Bed

Semi

Fix Fluid

Variables Fluid

2

First Period

R 0.976 0.989 0.997

Ea (kJ/mol) 67.96 94.78 104.68

2

Second Period

R 0.894 0.964 0.914

Energy Consumption

Fig. 6 shows the amount of energy needed by the heaters to dry thyme leaves at different air velocity

and temperature. It is observed from the figure that with increasing air velocity at constant temperature,

energy consumption increased. Also, energy consumption decreased as temperature increased at constant

air velocity. With increasing temperature, the drying time is reduced due to increased thermal gradients inside

the material and as a result increased product drying rate. The minimum and maximum values of energy

consumption for drying of thyme leaves were found to be 5.37 and 16.90 kW.h, at 70°C and 1.2 m/s, and

40°C and 2.8 m/s, respectively.

The specific energy for thyme leaves drying in the convection dryer, decreased with increasing

temperature (at constant air velocity) while it increased with air velocity (at constant temperature). The

minimum and maximum values of specific energy consumption for drying of thyme leaves were found to be

358.03 and 1126.83 kW.h/kg, at 70°C and 1.2 m/s, and 40°C and 2.8 m/s, respectively (Fig. 7).

2409

Intl. J. Agron. Plant. Prod. Vol., 4 (9), 2404-2412, 2013

18

Energy Consumption (kW.h)

15

12

0

40

50

60

70

40

50

60

70

40

50

60

70

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C m/s

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

,1

,1

,1

,1

,2

,2

,2

,2

,2

,2

,2

,2

.2

.2

.2

.2

.1

.1

.1

.1

.8

.8

.8

.8

m

m

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

Fig 6. Energy consumption for thin-layer drying of thyme leaves at different levels of air temperature and

velocity

Specific Energy Consumption (kWh/kg)

1200

900

600

300

0

40

50

60

70

40

50

60

70

40

50

60

70

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

°C

,1

,1

,1

,1

,2

,2

,2

,2

,2

,2

,2

,2

.2

.2

.2

.2

.1

.1

.1

.1

.8

.8

.8

.8

m

m

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

/s

Fig7. Specific energy consumption for thin-layer drying of Thyme leaves at different levels of air temperature

and velocity

Conclusion

The drying behavior of thyme leaves under three different drying conditions (fixed, semi-fluidized, and

fluidized beds) and four temperature levels (40, 50, 60, and 70˚C) was studied and the following findings are

deduced:

1- It was observed that energy consumption diminished when temperature increased at each air velocity,

while it increased with increasing hot air velocity. It can be concluded that 70 ºC air temperature and velocity

of 2.1 m/s are the optimum parameters for reduction of energy consumption.

2- The amount of required specific energy was decreased by increasing temperature and was increased

by increasing air rate.

3- The effective moisture diffusion rate for thyme was obtained in two periods. Also, the highest and lowest

infiltration rates and activation energy were obtained in fluidized and fixed beds, respectively.

2410

Intl. J. Agron. Plant. Prod. Vol., 4 (9), 2404-2412, 2013

Acknowledgment

This paper is a result of one of the research projects that has been approved by Islamic Azad University,

Shahr-e-Qods, Iran. This research project has been supported financially by Department of Research of

Islamic Azad University, Shahr-e-Qods Branch, in 2013. This is an opportunity for the authors to extend their

sincere appreciations to Department of Research of the Islamic Azad University, Shahr-e-Qods Branch.

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