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Effect of Drying Air Velocity on Drying Kinetics of Tomato Slices in a Forced-Convective Solar Tunnel Dryer

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Document pages: 15 pages

Abstract: The objective of this work is to analyse the extent to which a change in the drying air velocity may affect the drying kinetics of tomato in a forced-convective solar tunnel dryer. 2 m⋅s−1 (V1) and 3 m⋅s−1 (V2) air speeds were applied in similar drying air temperature and humidity conditions. Main drying constants calculated included the drying rate, the drying time and the effective water diffusivity based on the derivative form of the Fick’s second law of diffusion. Henderson and Pabis Model and Page Model were used to describe the drying kinetics of tomato. We found that solar drying of tomato occurred in both constant and falling-rate phases. The Page Model appeared to give a better description of tomato drying in a forced-convective solar tunnel dryer. At t = 800 min, the drying rate was approximately 0.0023 kg of water kg dry matter when drying air velocity was at 2 m s. At the same moment, the drying rate was higher than 0.0032 kg of water kg dry matter when the drying air velocity was 3 m s. As per the effective water diffusivity, its values changed from 2.918E−09 m2⋅s−1 to 3.921E−09 m2⋅s−1 when drying air velocity was at 2 and 3 m⋅s−1 respectively, which is equivalent to a 25 increase. The experimentations were conducted in Niamey, on the 1st and 5th of January 2019 for V2 and V1 respectively. For both two experiments, the starting time was 9:30 local time.

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