Study on Moisture Transfer Characteristics of Corn during Drying Process at Low Air Temperature
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Traditional hot air drying is a high-energy consuming process, and the drying quality is often decreased due to high drying temperature. To improve the drying process and drying efficiency, in this paper, the heterogeneity of corn kernels’ shape and physical structure is designed by modeling three-dimensional (3D) corn geometry and using different moisture diffusivity values for different corn components. The model includes evaporation of water inside the corn, the diffusion of water into the surface layer and the surface vaporization in the form of a liquid. In addition, the influence of the pericarp on the mass transfer process was included. Based on the experimental and simulation results, variation of the internal temperature and moisture content of the corn and its internal temperature field and humidity field during the drying process were analyzed. The results show that the main mass transfer resistance during drying comes from pericarp, and the influence of external conditions is not significant. It also shows that moisture diffusivity decreases from soft endosperm, hard endosperm, germ, and pericarp, in that order. The results obtained by the three-dimensional multi-component mathematical model are closer to the actual temperature and moisture content of the drying process, which proved that the model has high practicability.
KeywordsSimulation Heat and mass transfer Hot air drying Corn
This project is supported by the Key technology research Project of Science and Technology Commission of Jilin Province, China (No. 20180201006SF), and the Development and Innovation Project of Science and Technology Commission of Jilin city, China (No. 201750214).
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