Energy, Vol.161, 10-16, 2018
Development of a real-time drying control system for a pneumatic conveying dryer for sawdust in pellet production
This study presents a real-time drying control system that was developed to control air drying of sawdust in a pneumatic conveying dryer to produce high-grade wood pellets in the range of the target moisture content (MC). The real-time drying control system was installed with moisture sensors to control the ON/OFF periods of the fuel (pellet) supply motor for the sawdust to generate the heat necessary to dry the sawdust to an optimum level of 15% moisture content for pelletizing. The results of the experiment and the simulation showed that the drying efficiency improved when a buffer was introduced instead of using a conventional system, and the average moisture content of the dried sawdust was measured to be about 12.4% in a pneumatic conveying dryer without buffer and about 14.7%-15.2% in the developed real-time drying control system. This study shows that the real-time drying control system could dry the sawdust to the targeted constant moisture content, and the buffer in the pneumatic conveying dryer could improve the drying efficiency according to an increase in the resident time of the sawdust. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.