Through drying characteristic of oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibers using superheated steam

Rosdanelli Hasibuan, Wan Ramli Wan Daud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Empty fruit bunches (EFB) of the oil palm have great potential to be used as industrial fibers in various industries, such as fiber board, mattress and cushion, erosion controller, thermoplastic filler, paper, acoustics control, sound insulator, and animal feed industries. A rotary drum dryer with a flue gas drying medium has been conventionally used to dry EFB fibers. However, this drying system tends to produce highly entangled and blackened fiber. Furthermore, the uneven contact between the flue gas and fiber in the rotary dryer may cause nonuniformity in the moisture content of the product. To overcome this problem, the present work uses superheated steam as the drying medium for EFB fiber drying. The drying experiments were carried out at the following conditions: atmospheric pressure; temperature range 112-172°C; steam superficial velocity in the range 0.14-4.3 m/s, distance from steam nozzle to EFB in the range 50-200 mm; and size of holes on plate in the range 10-200 mesh. The initial fiber moisture content was in the range 0.96-1.46 kg/kg dry basis. The mass loss of EFB fiber during the drying process was periodically measured using an analytical balance connected directly to the wire mesh plate when the steam was diverted momentarily so that the effect of momentum transfer between the steam and the sample holder is minimized. In the temperature range 112-172°C and at atmospheric pressure, the equilibrium moisture content isotherm is found to follow an exponential equation with coefficient k e = 15.365 kg/kg, ne = - 0.001 °C-me and power index me = 1.869. It was found that for maximum moisture removal, the temperature and steam superficial velocity was 142°C and 0.39 m/s, respectively. The effect of steam velocity is greater than that of steam temperature in decreasing the moisture content. The drying rate initially increases to a maximum and then falls off exponentially thereafter. A new drying model was developed for superheated steam for drying of EFB fiber, which is given by MR = 1 - atn exp(-ktm). The increasing drying rate is largely described by the exponential term with the coefficient k having values ranging from 1.945 to 5.351 s-n and the index m having values ranging from -0.843 to 1.198. The falling drying rate is largely described by the power law term with the coefficient a ranging in value from 0.453 to 1.027 s_m and the power index n ranging in value from 0.0415 to 0.317. The drying is best carried out with the plate at a distance of 150 mm from the sample holder containing a 50 mesh plate. The superheated steam through the drying system can successfully reduce the moisture content by almost 100% in 15 min without steam condensation during the drying process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Fingerprint

Palm oil
Steam
Fruits
Drying
fruit
Fibers
oil
Moisture
moisture content
fibre
drying
Flue gases
atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure
temperature
Temperature
Driers (materials)
momentum transfer
Momentum transfer
industry

Keywords

  • Empty fruit bunche fiber
  • Superheated steam drying
  • Through drying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Through drying characteristic of oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibers using superheated steam. / Hasibuan, Rosdanelli; Wan Daud, Wan Ramli.

In: Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 1, 01.2007, p. 35-40.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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