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Effect of Initial Moisture Content of Maize Grain on Moisture Removal Rate and Energy Used in Experimental Vertical Pneumatic Dryer

Maize is a staple food and source of income in Kenya. However, postharvest losses are estimated at 12% to 20% of the national total output primarily due to high moisture storage. Drying to safe level of 13.5% before storage is essential. One of the main factors which influence drying process is initial moisture content (MC) of the grain. Therefore, this paper presents the effect of initial MC of maize grain on moisture removal rate (MRR) and energy used in drying. The experiments were based on selected initial MC levels of 20%, 25% and 30%, wet basis (wb). The first experiment involved loading experimental vertical pneumatic dryer with 70.0 kg of wet maize grain with initial MC of 20%. The grain was then dried for 2 hours as MRR and energy used monitored at an interval of 15 minutes. The grain and drying air mass flow rate was controlled at 771 kg/h and 547 kg/h, respectively. The plenum chamber air temperature was maintained at 70°C using proportional integral derivative controller. The maize grain variety used was hybrid 614 sourced from a farmer in Njoro sub-County, Nakuru County, Kenya. Similar experiments were repeated but using maize grain with initial MC of 25% and 30%, wb. The MC of 20%, 25% and 30% were obtained by rewetting maize grain with initial MC of 11.4% (wb) in tap water at a temperature of 18°C for 0.75 hours, 1.75 hours and 5.75 hours, respectively. The MRR results ranged from 0.0914 kg/kg.h to 0.0357 kg/kg.h for maize grain with initial MC of 20%, 0.1043 kg/kg.h to 0.0556 kg/kg.h for 25% and 0.1185 kg/kg.h to 0.0705 kg/kg.h for 30%. The energy used for air heating (Ea) for each level of MC was 10.5 kWh. The energy used for grain transportation (Eg) was 4.6 kWh for MC of 20%, 4.8 kWh for 25% and 5.0 kWh for 30%. Data analysis results showed that the initial MC of the maize grain had significant effect (P < 0.05) on MRR. However, the effect of initial MC on Ea and Eg was not significant (P > 0.05).

Initial Moisture Content, Maize Grain, Moisture Removal Rate, Energy Used in Drying, Pneumatic Dryer

APA Style

Meshack Kipruto Korir, Musa Rugiri Njue, Daudi Mongeri Nyaanga. (2022). Effect of Initial Moisture Content of Maize Grain on Moisture Removal Rate and Energy Used in Experimental Vertical Pneumatic Dryer. Bioprocess Engineering, 6(2), 34-39. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.be.20220602.15

ACS Style

Meshack Kipruto Korir; Musa Rugiri Njue; Daudi Mongeri Nyaanga. Effect of Initial Moisture Content of Maize Grain on Moisture Removal Rate and Energy Used in Experimental Vertical Pneumatic Dryer. Bioprocess Eng. 2022, 6(2), 34-39. doi: 10.11648/j.be.20220602.15

AMA Style

Meshack Kipruto Korir, Musa Rugiri Njue, Daudi Mongeri Nyaanga. Effect of Initial Moisture Content of Maize Grain on Moisture Removal Rate and Energy Used in Experimental Vertical Pneumatic Dryer. Bioprocess Eng. 2022;6(2):34-39. doi: 10.11648/j.be.20220602.15

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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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