Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.61, No.11, 3674-3685, 2006
Mathematical modelling of solvent drying from a static particle bed
Distributed-parameter models of vacuum contact drying of a static particle bed have been formulated and a numerical solution of the resulting set of partial differential equations describing heat and mass transfer in the particle bed has been carried out. Systematic parametric study of the effect of jacket temperature, head-space pressure, bed depth, and gas- and liquid-phase relative permeability has been performed. Trends observed in vacuum contact drying experiments, namely the independence of drying rate on the mode of driving force realisation (by jacket temperature or head-space pressure), linear scaling of heat-transfer rate with bed depth during the constant-rate period, independence of drying rate on particle size above a certain critical size, and disappearance of the constant-rate period below a certain particle size, have been reproduced by the model both qualitatively and quantitatively. A study of the effect of gas-phase permeability on drying kinetics revealed an interesting phenomenon-a reversal of the direction of drying front propagation. The drying front was found to originate from the heat source (heated walls) for large permeability, and from the mass sink (head-space) for low permeability. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.