Drying of Pepper Seed Particles in a Superheated Steam Fluidized Bed Operating at Reduced Pressure
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A series of drying experiments was performed in a reduced-pressure superheated steam fluidized bed, employing pepper seed particles and some novel data were obtained. Experiments were carried out using different chamber pressures (40-67 kPa), temperatures (90-122°C), steam velocities (2.35-4.10 m/s), and mass flow rates (0.0049-0.0134 kg/s). In the majority of the experiments, the moisture gain observed in some other studies in the warm-up period of the process was prevented through some supplementary heat provided to the column. The drying rate was found to be increasing by operating temperature; however, it was not affected much by the superficial gas velocity and the operating pressure. Nevertheless, the reduced pressure operation increases the degree of superheating that appears as the most important parameter of the process. The experimental results showed that the equilibrium moisture content decreases by the increasing degree of superheating. On the other hand, the critical moisture content assumes higher values for the greater degrees of superheating. It was concluded that a relatively lower temperature process can be achieved through a reduced-pressure superheated steam fluidized bed. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.