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Mathematical Model Analysis for Mass and Rates of Woodchip IR Drying

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The production of woodchip biomass, by meansofdrying, is of importancewith respect to environmental concerns. This has been highlighted by reports of carbon production through utility usage of commercial sites, where drying is often among the most energy intensive operations within industrial processes. It is therefore crucial to dry wood in efficient way in order to derive high quality products and increase end use process efficiency. Akey component for dry fuel suppliers is the moisture content of the woodchip product. Halogen (infrared) drying is the foremost method used on site to measure moisture content ofwood fuel for supply,as this takes less time,asmaller sample size and less human interaction, in comparison with convective drying. This study investigated the drying behaviour of static woodchip fuel using an infrared source at temperatures rangingfrom 50 to 80°C and atmospheric pressure. With the longest drying time (time until a rate of 0.001g per 99 seconds is reached) of just over three hours and the shortest under an hour and a half. Mathematical models of the drying rates were determined through statistical analysis and the significance of the initial drying periods relevant to rates of falling and constant profiles were analysed for the different temperatures. Statistically the model with the best fit at the temperatures measured was a diffusion model with 6 exponential terms and coefficients with the SSE value 0.2424, R2of 0.9989 and RMSE of less than0.009. Models with 4 coefficients were also able to fit the data well with SSE values of below 0.03. Differentiating the resulting equations of fit at constant temperature resulted in models for the rate of mass lost over time.