Water vapor desorption from silica gel in a combined drying and double-condenser compression refrigeration system

Engkos Achmad Kosasih, Ahmad Zikri, Muhammad Irfan Dzaky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The drying method requires an effort to store food for a longer time. Some drying processes experience technical and economic weaknesses, mainly related to low efficiency, high energy costs, and decreased product quality. Various drying models have been studied to determine the suitability of heat and mass transfer analysis at drying rates in an air dehumidification scheme using different materials, one of which is silica gel. In this case, the researchers examined the effects of humidity, temperature, and airflow rate on the constant drying rate and activation energy of water desorption in silica gel using a packed bed dryer that was modified with a refrigeration system. This modified system aims to reduce specific energy consumption (SEC). The results demonstrate that the constant rate of water desorption in silica gel and the increase in air humidity cause a decrease in the constant value of the water desorption rate in silica gel. However, increases in the temperature and airflow cause an increase in the value of the constant drying rate for water desorption in silica gel, as they cause capillary evaporation. Meanwhile, the activation energy of water desorption in silica gel increases with decreasing air flow rate and increasing inlet air humidity. The attractive force acting on the water molecules from the surface force field on the surrounding walls becomes stronger if the air flow rate decreases or the air humidity increases. From the results and analysis, it is shown that the activation energy of water desorption in silica gel with significant air humidity and low flow rate, of 0.013 kg/kg d.a. (450 lpm), is the highest at 35.16 kJ/mol, whereas in silica gel with air humidity of 0.007 kg/kg d.a. (750 lpm), it is the lowest at 22.92 kJ/mol. Meanwhile, the dryer air flow rate, higher heater temperature, and lower air humidity improve the performance of the bed dryer against its evaporation rate and decrease the Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) value. SEC is also greatly influenced by the use condenser 1, which provides heater power savings of up to 79.1%. Thus, the system is expected to be applied to commercial drying systems that can work at low drying temperatures to maintain drying products and obtain low energy consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere09757
JournalHeliyon
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Activation energy
  • Air dehumidification
  • Desorption
  • Desorption rate constant
  • Refrigeration
  • Silica gel

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