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Christian Paolo Asequia, Sheena Claire Bayeta, Ercille Mae Pacamo*, Hazel Dawn Patica
Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan, Chemical Engineering
department, Corrales Avenue, Cagayan de Oro City
Abstract Tray dryer is an equipment used for drying solids which is designed to eliminate moisture from solids using air. The
objectives of this experiment were to perform drying test on solids. This specifically aims to investigate the effects of air temperature
and air velocity to the drying rate. Sand was used as the solid to be dried in an oven-type dryer where hot air is used to eliminate
moisture from solids as to how a tray dryer dries solids. In this experiment it was found that no significant change in drying rate

as the inlet temperature increases by changing the heat power input. The second part of the experiment was not executed
due to limitations of the equipment used.

Keywords: Tray dryer, moisture, drying curve, drying

One of the important experiments is drying experiment.
There are several drying equipment such as vacuumshelf indirect dryers, continuous tunnel dryers, rotary
dryers, drum dryers, spray dryers and tray dryers.
Tray dryers are used for removing water from material
which can be lumpy solid or a pasty solid. Spreading
uniformly solid on a metal tray which has depth 10 mm to
100mm is put in cabinet of dryer.
Water is removed by fan which recirculates heated air
over the surface of the trays. Air is heated by electrical
energy and 10-20 % of air in cabinet is fresh air, remaining
is recirculating air.
In this experiment, tray dryer is used.

temperature T and humidity H comes and evaporates

some water on wick. Due to this evaporation, temperature
T is seen as Tw on thermometer. The difference in T and
Tw is due to latent heat of evaporation.

Fig. 2 Wet bulb temperature [2]

Adiabatic saturation lines can be also used for wet bulb
lines with reasonable accuracy but for only water vapor.
Therefore, humidity of air water vapor mixture measure
can be done by using wet bulb determination.
Fig.1 Tray dryer
In this kind of drying, one of the important parameters is
wet bulb temperature. When gas coming from outside and
a lot of water contacts each other, saturation is achieved.
The adiabatic saturation temperature is the steady state
temperature in such situation. If small amount water and
a gas inlet is contacted under adiabatic conditions, a
temperature which is non-equilibrium and steady state is
reached. This temperature is called wet bulb temperature.
In adiabatic saturation, temperature and humidity of gas
are changed but in this situation, temperature and
humidity of gas are not changed because of small amount
of water.
In measuring wet bulb temperature, thermometer which is
shown in figure 2 is covered with wet cloth. Air at dry bulb

Knowledge about the basic mechanisms of rates of

drying, obtaining some experimental measurements of
drying rates is necessary in most cases. Therefore, data
of loss in weight of moisture during drying at different time
intervals should be taken without interrupting the
operation. In addition data should be converted to rate of
drying curves.
Xt= (W Ws) / Ws

Equation 1

Where Xt is moisture content (kg total water/kg dry solid),

W is weight of the wet solid and W s is weight of dry solid
in kg.
Then, the equilibrium moisture content X* (kg equilibrium
moisture/ kg dry solid) is determined. After that, the free
moisture content X (kg free water / kg dry solid) is
calculated for each Xt.

samples is observed.
X = Xt X*

Equation 2


To analyze the results from the experiment, relevant data
is needed. Therefore, some calculations are necessary to
complete the data. For the free moisture of the solid was
calculated using the equation 1. 0.5047 kg and 0.6709 kg
of dry sand was used for sample 1 and sample 2,
respectively. The results were then tabulated and plotted
in graph shown below.
Table 1 Experiment Results

Fig. 3 Free moisture vs time graph

Then, free moisture X vs time t is plotted in figure 3.
To draw rate of drying curve from this plot, the slopes of
the tangents drawn to the curve at given values of t. Then
rate R is calculated for each point with equation:
R= - ( Ls X) / (A t)

Equation 3

Where R is drying rate (kg water/h.m 2), Ls kg of dry solid

used and A exposed surface area for drying (m 2).

velocity, V1
Dry bulb
temp, Tv(oC)
humidity, H2
















Wet bulb
temp, Ti (oC)






Tv - Ti (oC)






Time (min)


Wet sand
0.5076 0.5071 0.5066
0.5062 0.5057
weight (kg)
0.005746 0.004755 0.003765 0.002972 0.001981
content, Xe
humidity, H1

Fig. 4 Rate vs free moisture content

The equipment used in this experiment was the oven-type
of tray dryer. The solid to be dried is sand. It was filled in
a tray to a depth of 10 mm each and weighed before being
saturated with water. The sand was saturated by
removing it from the tray and excess free water is drained
before being loaded evenly and smoothly into the drying
trays. The total mass of the wet sand was noted before
drying begins. The velocity of air is determined using an
anemometer and the temperature is set to 120C.
Samples were weighed in regular time intervals. This also
goes the same with the dry bulb temperature and wet bulb
temperature until there is no change of the mass of

Figure 5 Moisture vs time

According to the data obtained, the weight of the tray of
sand is decreasing as time proceeds. This is also shown
in the Graph of Moisture Content versus Time. In this
case, the graph plotted has a negative gradient. The
drying rate can be determined from the gradient of the
graph. The steeper the slope (gradient), the higher the
drying rate will be. The drying rates are 0.0003kg/min and
0.0003kg/min respectively. However, theoretically, as the
temperature of air increases, the drying rate should

become higher. The results obtained behave in such way

and it might be due to no significant change in heater
power input. From the experiment, a dry bulb temperature
average 28.02 is obtained. The difference in the
temperature is only 1.56, therefore no significant
difference in the drying rate can be detected.
It also can be observed that when the difference between
the wet bulb temperature and dry bulb temperature is
high, the drying rate is higher. This is because, the higher
the temperature of air, the faster the water content can be
evaporated. When the temperature is higher, the relative
humidity will be lower, and that is the driving force.
In short, the drying rate is directly proportional to the
temperature of the inlet air provided that the moisture
content of the inlet air is maintained.
The equipment used for this experiment does not have a
feature for the manipulation of the fan speed. This is
needed for the air velocity to be varied. This means that
the second objective of this experiment cannot be

Theoretically when the air temperature increases, drying
rate also increases. The temperature of inlet gas is
considered as dry bulb temperature and the temperature
of outlet gas is considered as wet bulb temperature. The
larger the difference between these values will result in
higher drying rate. However, in this experiment it was
found that no significant change in drying rate as the inlet
temperature increases by changing the heat power input.
The second part of the experiment was not executed due
to limitations of the equipment used.

The researchers would like to thank the Laboratory
technician Mr. Carl Angelo Fallares for helping greatly in
the set-up and throughout the duration of the experiment.


[1] Geankoplis, C. J. (2003). Transport Processes and

Separation Process Principles: Unit Operations.

Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference