Theme: Renewable Energy and Sustainability Experimental and Numerical Study of Drying of Moringa Oleifera Leaves

O. S. Olaoye, A. Alausa & O. Onihale

Abstract


Drying is a preservation technique to reduce the water content of the food product to a safe level and to minimize biochemical reactions of the degradation and also to increase the shelf life of the product. Moringa being an agricultural product of high chemical, nutritional and medical use is susceptible to degradation due to relatively high moisture content. Moringa leaf is sensitive to sunlight, therefore, forced convection drying method with two types of air velocities (2.2 and 1.2 m/s) was employed in its drying. A batch of moringa leaves of 200g by mass having an initial moisture content of 83% wet basis was dried to desired 14% wet basisĀ  moisture content at average temperature of 40oC. Drying chamber and ambient temperatures, relative humidity, air flow velocity and rate of weight reduction were measured. The experimental and model results were statistically validated. Also numerical modeling of heat and mass transfer that occurred in the drying process was done using COMSOL Multiphysics 4.3b that uses finite element approach. It took between 10 and 12 hours to dry moringa leaves to the desired moisture content at drying air velocity 2.2 m/s and 1.2 m/s respectively. The results predicted from the modelling when compared with the experimental data have a considerably agreement.


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