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ABSTRACT

In this experiment, we use tray dryers to dry the wet sample.


We choose the tea herbs as our sample because we believe that tea
herbs requires short drying time, and the moisture content will
decrease faster with time. The measurement of the moisture content
is based on the weight of the sample which inversely proportional
with the temperature & time. Thus, we can determine the drying rate
of the sample. Based on the data from the experiment, the mass and
moisture content is decreasing with time, whereas the drying rate is
varying rapidly with time.

INTRODUCTION

Drying is the process of thermally removing volatile substances


(e.g., moisture) to yield a solid product. Mechanical methods for
separating a liquid from a solid are not considered in thermal drying.
When a wet solid is subjected to thermal drying, two processes occur
simultaneously; first is the transfer of energy, mostly as heat from
the surrounding environment to evaporate the surface moisture, and
second is the transfer of internal moisture to the surface of the solid
and its subsequent evaporation due to the first process.

Several types of dryers are used in different fields and


specialties. The common type of dryer in many industrial
applications that involve drying operation is tray dryers (or cabinet
dryers). The dryers are made of trays held in a cabinet, which is
connected to a source of heated air by gas, diesel or biomass. The
food, which is to be dried, is spread out, generally quite thinly, on
trays which the drying takes place. Heating may be by an air current
sweeping across the trays, by conduction from heated trays or
heated shelves on which the trays lie, or by radiation from heated
surfaces. Most tray dryers are heated by air, which also removes the
moist vapours. The temperature of ambient air is controlled by
thermostat which is usually set in the range of 50 to 700°C. The air
enters the bottom of the chamber below the trays and then rises,
through the trays of food being dried, and exits from an opening in
the top of the chamber. Fresh air is allowed to enter the cabinet and
moist air is exhausted by using a dehumidistat to control an exhaust
fan and air intake shutters. The dryer trays are tight-fitting in the
cabinet to prevent air from bypassing the material to be dried.
Depending upon the food and the desired final moisture, drying time
may be of the order of 10 or even 20 hours. Tray dryers require low
capital and maintenance costs but have relatively poor control and
produces more variable product quality.

However, in recirculation designs, the moisture laden air, after


evaporating water from food, would have to be dried before being
undergo recirculation, or else it would soon become saturated and
further drying of the food would stop. In such a case passing it
through a desiccant such as a bed of silica gel, or condensing
moisture out by passing the moist air over cold plates or coils could
dry the air. Note also that if we are not going to dry the exhaust air
for recirculation, then the exhaust vent should not be close to the
fresh air intake area, otherwise the moist exhaust air will be drawn
back through the drier and drying efficiency will be lost.
Thermometers are installed with the sensitive elements directly in
the main air current approaching the drying trays, and often also in
the air current leaving trays.
One of the most important problems encountered is not to supply the
same drying rate at the all position within the tray dryers. The other
is the fast drying of food in the position where the air first enters to
the system and the slow drying of food in the other position.
Therefore, additional heaters and fans may be placed above or
alongside the trays to increase the rate of drying. Tray dryers are
used for small-scale production or for pilot-scale work.

OBJECTIVES

The purpose of this experiment is to determine the drying rate


of the sample by drying method using tray dryer besides learn to use
and operate the tray dryer.

THEORY

Drying occurs with the help of evaporation by supplying heat to


the wet feedstock. There are two options for medium of heat transfer
that is through convection by direct driers or conduction by contact
or indirect driers. The removal of water from drying is to inhibit the
growth of microorganisms and therefore the food is well preserved
besides reducing the weight and bulk of food for cheaper transport
and storage. When carried out correctly, any alteration of nutritional
quality, colour, flavour and texture of r ehydrated foods will not be
affected too much.
Drying methods and processes can be classified as batch,
where the material is inserted into the drying equipment and drying
proceeds for a given period of time, or as continuous, where the
material is continuously added to the dryer and dried material
continuously removed. Drying processes can also be categorized
according to the physical conditions used to add heat and remove
water vapour. In the first category, heat is added by direct contact
with heated air at atmospheric pressure, and the water vapour
formed is removed by the air. In vacuum drying, the evaporation of
water proceeds more rapidly at low pressures, and the heat is added
indirectly by contact with a metal wall or by radiation (low
temperatures can also be used under vacuum for certain materials
that may decolourize or decompose at higher temperatures). In
freeze drying, water is sublimed from the frozen material.

The first consideration in selecting a dryer is its operability;


above all else, the equipment must produce the desired product in
the form at the desired rate. The quality required in a finished
product, and its necessary physical characteristics, are determined
by its end use. The final choice is then made on the basis of capital
and operating costs. Attention must be paid, however, to the costs of
the entire isolation system, not just the drying unit alone.

Thermally sensitive materials must be dried at low temperature


under vacuum, with a low-temperature heating medium, or very
rapidly. The dryer must also operate reliably, safely, and
economically. Operation and maintenance costs must be excessive;
pollution must be controlled; energy consumption must be minimised.
As far as the drying operation itself is concerned, adiabatic dryers
are generally less expensive than non-adiabatic dryers, in spite of
the lower thermal efficiency of adiabatic units.
Unfortunately there is usually a lot of dust carry over from adiabatic
dryers, and these entrained particles must be removed almost
quantitatively from the drying gas.

In herbs and medicinal industry, most medicinal and culinary


herbs are sold dried. When drying large quantities of herbs for
commercial sale, growers should use a forced-air dryer to preserve
their color, flavour, oil content, and medicinal properties. To achieve
this, good air circulation within the dryer is important, as it reduces
drying time and allows the use of lower temperatures, both of which
can prevent the degradation of chemical constituents during the
drying process. There-fore, dependable temperature control and the
ability to provide high air flow throughout the plant material are
important. Drying temperatures and times differ by plants, and plant
parts, thus most herbs should be dried at low temperatures, ideally
around 90-100°F. When outside conditions are hot and humid,
however, it may be necessary to raise temperatures to as high as
130°F. The size of the dryer should be based on the herb production
area and how much will be harvested at one time.

The dryer should have well-spaced racks to ensure that all


sides of the plant receive sufficient air flow and the plant material
dries evenly. The shelves should be constructed of food grade
screens or covered with an acceptable food grade material. The
dryer should be free of dust, dirt, insects, and rodents. Evidence of
any of these in the final product can lower its value or render it
unmarketable.

The dryer should be able to hold an entire harvest and dry it


fast enough that the crop does not spoil. Efficiency and economic
concerns must be taken into consideration to ensure the cost-
effectiveness of its operation. Likewise, a dryer can be constructed
from a new or existing shed outfitted with a heater, fan, and
dehumidifier. Additionally, a grower may choose to construct one
from scratch.

In this experiment, tea leaves are chosen as herbs that undergo


drying process by operating tray dryer. The best method to dry herb
will depend largely on the physical characteristics of the material,
the volume of herb in the dryer, and the relative humidity of the
outside air.

Different herbs will require different temperatures. Typically,


the higher the ambient humidity, the higher the temperature that is
required to dry the material thoroughly. Introducing drier air will
reduce the amount of time the material is in the dryer, thus reducing
the cost of drying the material.

The moisture content of dried products is very important, and if


it is too high, moulds and yeasts tend to grow. The moisture content
may be checked using scales and an oven. The following is the
expression that we may use in order to calculate the moisture
content of our drying tea leaves;

Other important parameter for drying process is the drying rates, v


(min-1);

v = Xt1 – Xt2
T2 – T1
EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE

1. All of the equipment which used in this experiment were


switched on.
2. Rinse the empty tray using water before start
3. The mass of the empty tray were measured and tared. The data
was recorded.
4. The dry tea herbs were sprinkled with enough of water to make
it wet.
5. The tea herbs were placed onto the empty tray and put into the
tray dryers to be prepared to be dried.
6. The initial mass of the wet tea herbs were measured and
recorded before being dried.
7. The initial temperature and humidity which shown on the tray
dryers taken and recorded. The initial air flow inside the tray
dryers were measured using the anemometer and the readings
was recorded.
8. The drying process is started by pressing the ‘HEAT’ button on
the tray dryers.
9. All of the data readed and recorded every 3 minutes in one hour
time of the drying process of the tea herbs.
10. The moisture content and the drying rate were calculated.
11. The graph of drying rate against moisture content was plotted.

APPARATUS

Tray dryers
Analytical balance
Water
Anemometer
Stopwatch
Dry tea herbs

RESULT

Mass of tray = 1391.3 g

Mass of dry tea leaves = 99.4 g

Time Humidity Temperatures Mass of Aneno- Moisture Drying


(min) (%rF) (°C) meter Content rate
sample (g)
(m/s) (min-1)
I II I II

0 10.6 0.5 41.9 39.5 109.4 1.47 0.1198 0.0084

5 8.4 0.5 45.3 43.0 105.3 1.21 0.0778 0.01004

10 8.0 0.5 45.8 44.3 100.4 1.51 0.0276 0.00326

15 8.0 0.5 45.7 44.6 98.8 1.49 0.0113 0.00104

20 8.0 0.5 45.6 44.7 98.3 1.49 0.0061 0.001

23 8.0 0.5 45.6 44.8 98.0 1.52 0.0031 0.00037

26 8.0 0.5 45.7 44.7 97.9 1.52 0.002 0.00067

29 8.0 0.5 45.6 44.7 97.7 1.51 0 0


SAMPLE CALCULATIONS

1. Moisture content,x calculated using the following formula:


M o i s t u r e c o n t e n t , x = mass1-massfinalmassfinal

Example:

Moisture Content 1, x1 = 109.4-97.797.7

= 0.11975

Moisture Content 2, x2 = 105.3-97.797.7

= 0.07779

2. After calculated the moisture content, the drying rate calculated


using the following formula :

D r y i n g R a t e , v = ΔxΔt

Example : For tea herbs sample :

D r y i n g R a t e , v = x1- x2∆t

= 0.11975 - 0.077795

= 0.008392

DISCUSSION
Based on graph mass versus time, it shows that the mass of the
tea herbs are decreasing with time. This is the same with graph of
moisture content versus time, where the moisture content is
decreasing with time.

Drying occurs in three different periods, or phases, which can


be clearly defined. The first phase, or initial period, is where
sensible heat is transferred to the product and the contained
moisture. From both graph, the first phase can be seen clearly at
time between the first minute until minute 9. The second phase, or
constant rate period, is when the free moisture persists on the
surfaces and the rate of evaporation alters very little as the moisture
content reduces. This is seen from the graph at minute 9 until minute
12. The third phase, or falling rate period, is the phase during which
migration of moisture from the inner interstices of each particle to
the outer surface becomes the limiting factor that reduces the drying
rate.

Principles of tray dryer states that during the early stages of


drying, the conditions in the dryer, which is at high humidity and
moderate temperature, are ideal for the growth of microorganisms.
The quicker the drying time the better the final microbial quality of
the product. From the graph of drying rate versus time, we can see
that the changing pattern is not consistent or in mannered pattern.
Hence, it is well said that the drying rates is not depending much
upon time.

CONCLUSION
Based on the data plotted on each graph, we can conclude that
the moisture content and mass of the tea herbs are both decreasing
with time. Nevertheless, the drying rates of the herbs are varying
with time.

RECOMMENDATION

In order to obtain better results, there are a few methods or


recommendations that may be considered. Firstly, the drying rates
can be increased with two different options; by increasing the air
flow or increasing the air temperature. However, the temperature
must not be set to too high for it may cause damage or change to the
products. This is true for herbs and spices, as high temperature will
have the risk of losing delicate flavours or colours.

As a matter of fact, fan driven dryers may suck in fine dust


particles in dusty areas, causing contamination of the product. In
very dusty areas, powered dryers may need a muslin filter over the
air inlet. Herbs and spices must be dried to a moisture content that
is low enough to prevent the growth of micro-organisms such as
moulds and bacteria.
Most commercial dryers are insulated to reduce heat losses,
and they recirculate hot air to save energy. Many designs have
energy-saving devices, which recover heat from the exhaust air or
automatically control the air humidity. Computer control of dryers is
increasingly sophisticated and also results in important savings in
energy.

If the exhaust air is not dried for recirculation, then the exhaust
vent should not be close to the fresh air intake area, otherwise the
moist exhaust air will be drawn back through the drier and drying
efficiency will be lost.

Good air circulation within the dryer is important, as it reduces


drying time and allows the use of lower temperatures, both of which
can prevent the degradation of chemical constituents during the
drying process. The dryer should have well-spaced racks to ensure
that all sides of the plant receive sufficient air flow and the plant
material dries evenly. The dryer should be free of dust, dirt, insects,
and rodents. Evidence of any of these in the final product can lower
its value or render it unmarketable.

REFERENCES

1. h t t p : / / w w w . f a o . o r g / d o c r e p / V 5 3 8 0 E / V 5 3 8 0 E 0 9 . h t m
2. h t t p : / / w w w . e n o t e s . c o m / h o w - p r o d u c t s - e n c y c l o p e d i a / g r e e n - t e a
3. Bird,R.B,Steward.WE,and Lightfoot,EN, Transport Phenomena,
John Wiley and Sons, Inc,1960
APPENDICES