A Statistical Optimization of Convective Drying of Corn Kernels in a Fluidized Bed Dryer

Optimization of Convective Drying of Corn Kernels

  • Shina Gautam Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering. Shroff S R Rotary Institute of Chemical Technology, Gujarat India
  • Alok Gautam
  • Mahant Bhavik


Food storage is an essential process for food security and it needs to be free from any biological contamination. For the same, agriculture produce needs to be completely dried before sending for storage. The present work discusses a systematic approach to model drying parameters of corn kernels in a fluidized bed dryer. Experiments were designed according to a higher level Box-Behnken design combined with response surface methodology. Four parameters were chosen to vary namely: amount of corn kernels (50 -100 gm), temperature of drying (50 – 80⁰C), air velocity (6.01 – 8.08 m/s) and drying time (30 – 60 min) for experiments as well as for the model. The reduction of moisture content was determined after each experiment for understanding the behaviour of drying process. The model equations were obtained and surface response plots were generated in MATLAB to investigate the drying behaviour of corn kernels with all four parameters. Ultimately, this work represents the dependence of moisture removal on all four parameters chosen with efficient use of response surface methodology and Box-Behnken design. Analysis of variance confirmed that velocity of air and amount of corn are the most significant parameters along with temperature and time of drying. Optimum condition with the model were obtained as 50 gm of corn kernels, 80 ⁰C drying temperature, 8 m/sec velocity of air, and 60 min time of drying for 73.3 % of moisture from corn kernels.  

Chemical Engineering