Solar Drying of Greenhouse Crop Residues for Energy Valorization: Modeling and Determination of Optimal Conditions
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Author/sPinna Hernández, María Guadalupe; Acien Fernández, Francisco Gabriel; López Segura, José Gabriel; Casas López, José Luis
Large amounts of crop residue are produced annually in areas such as Almeria (Spain). These residues have elevated moisture and ash contents, and are also very heterogeneous, which hinders their reutilization. With the aim of facilitating biomass utilization in energy recovery-related processes, a model for solar drying was developed. Experiments were performed inside a greenhouse with tomato and pepper residues, following two strategies (hung or stacked residues). The influence of temperature and relative humidity on the residues’ equilibrium moisture was also studied. The results were that a model allowed for determination of the equilibrium moisture as a function of ambient conditions (temperature and relative humidity), with the model’s characteristic parameters being different for each crop residue. Regarding the drying process, the results conform to first-order kinetics, with the values of the kinetic constants varying as a function of the crop residues and their arrangement. Th...
solar drying kinetics
greenhouse crop residue