Influence of Particle Size on Vacuum-Fluidized Bed Drying
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The effect of particle size on the vacuum-fluidized bed drying process was experimentally studied using pepper seed particles with two distinct diameters. In the constant drying rate period, the small particles demonstrated stronger drying rates resulting from higher mass transfer coefficient values and larger contact area for per unit particle humidity.The experimental results also showed that the falling drying rate period was controlled in the beginning by the particle diameter and later by the effective porosity of the particle. Consequently, in the beginning of the falling drying rate period the small particles presented higher drying rates, whereas toward the end of the period, the large particles, with higher effective porosity, produced stronger drying rates than the small ones.The effects of the vacuum pressure and the superficial gas velocity throughout the process were only observed in the constant drying rate period, whereas the higher operating temperatures enriched the drying rates in both periods. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.