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Drying Technology

An International Journal

ISSN: 0737-3937 (Print) 1532-2300 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ldrt20

Coupling CFD and Diffusion Models for Analyzing


the Convective Drying Behavior of a Single Rice
Kernel
Ramadan Elgamal , Frederik Ronsse , Sherif M. Radwan & Jan G. Pieters
To cite this article: Ramadan Elgamal , Frederik Ronsse , Sherif M. Radwan & Jan G. Pieters
(2014) Coupling CFD and Diffusion Models for Analyzing the Convective Drying Behavior of a
Single Rice Kernel, Drying Technology, 32:3, 311-320, DOI: 10.1080/07373937.2013.829088
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07373937.2013.829088

Published online: 24 Jan 2014.

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Date: 12 April 2016, At: 05:45

Drying Technology, 32: 311320, 2014


Copyright 2014 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 0737-3937 print/1532-2300 online
DOI: 10.1080/07373937.2013.829088

Coupling CFD and Diffusion Models for Analyzing


the Convective Drying Behavior of a Single Rice Kernel
Ramadan ElGamal,12 Frederik Ronsse,1 Sherif M. Radwan,2 and Jan G. Pieters1
1

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Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Biosystems Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

The drying behavior of a single rice kernel subjected to


convective drying was analyzed numerically by solving heat and
moisture transfer equations using a coupled computational uid
dynamics (CFD) and diffusion model. The transfer coefcients
were computed simultaneously with the external ow eld and the
internal diffusive eld of the grain. The model was validated using
results of a thin-layer drying experiments from the literature.
The effects of velocity and temperature of the drying air on the
rice kernel were analyzed. It was found that the air temperature
was the major variable that affected the drying rate of the rice
kernel. The initial drying rates (in rst 20 min) were 7, 12, and
19% per hour at inlet air temperatures of 30, 45, and 60 C,
respectively. Important temperature gradients within the grain
existed only in the rst few minutes of the drying process. The
moisture content gradients reached a maximum value of 11.7%
(db) mm1 at approximately 45 min along the short axis in the
thickness direction. The variation in the inlet air velocity showed
a minor effect on the drying rate of the rice kernel. The heat and
mass transfer coefcients varied from 16.57 to 203.46 Wm2 K1
and from 0.0160 to 0.1959 ms1 , respectively. The importance
of the computation of the transfer coefcients with the heat and
mass transfer model is demonstrated.
Keywords CFD; Diffusion model; Grain drying; Heat and mass
transfer; Mathematical modeling

INTRODUCTION
Rice is an important agricultural product worldwide with
a total annual production of about 730.2 million tonnes of
rough rice in 2012.1 Rough rice is generally harvested at
1822% moisture content on a wet basis (wb) and requires
drying down to around 13% for safe storage.2 Therefore,
rough rice is typically dried immediately after harvest to be
stored safely. Proper drying helps to improve rice grain quality
and increase storage time. In general, two kinds of methods
are commonly used to dry grains: convective drying methods

Correspondence: Jan G. Pieters, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Department of Biosystems Engineering, Ghent University,
Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium; E-mail: Jan.Pieters@
UGent.be
Color versions of one or more of the gures in the article can be
found online at www.tandfonline.com/ldrt.

using ambient air or heated air and radiation drying methods


using solar radiation or infrared radiation. At an industrial scale,
drying is typically carried out by blowing heated air over the
grains. Due to its importance and complexity, rice drying has
been an area of intensive research.3 The rate at which grain
can be dried convectively is dependent on its temperature and
moisture content as well as on the air ow characteristics.4
Moisture and heat transfer inside and outside a rough rice kernel
are two governing physical processes that occur simultaneously
and interactively because evaporation of liquid into vapor
consumes latent heat. In addition, convection drying of
agricultural and food materials is energy consuming. Therefore,
improvement in the efciency of the process, including the
high quality of dry products with the lowest possible energy
consumption and shorter drying time, is essential for the food
processing industry.
Mathematical modeling has now become a common practice
in analyzing drying phenomena due to the cost and time
involved in experimental studies.5 Over the past few decades,
several approaches have been proposed to deal with mass and
heat transfer phenomena in materials during drying. No single
universal model of drying can be used successfully for all kinds
of grains and apparatuses in different regimes because of the
multitude of variations in internal and external conditions,6
including the theoretical formulation of the transport model, the
numerical procedures used to solve the governing equations,
a proper denition of the transport properties of both air and
food material, and the evaluation of heat and mass transfer
coefcients performed on the basis of literature data or ad hoc
experiments.7
A considerable number of theoretical and experimental
studies have been conducted to describe the drying process of
grains. Husain et al.8 assumed the rice kernel to be a long
cylinder and presented a numerical model of simultaneous
heat and mass transfer for rough rice kernel drying.
Dutta et al.9 numerically studied the drying characteristics
of a spherical grain using the Crank-Nicholson implicit
numerical procedure with a Dirichlet boundary condition
(known boundary temperature and moisture content) instead of
a convective boundary condition. Yang et al.10 experimentally
investigated the drying and tempering behavior of rough rice

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ELGAMAL ET AL.

using thin-layer drying tests and validated their 2D nite


element model for a single kernel with experimental data.
They used constant heat and mass transfer coefcients to
dene the Neumann boundary on the kernel surface. The
predicted results agreed well with experimental data. Mandas
and Habte11 developed a simulation tool using the nite
difference method to simulate a nonequilibrium mathematical
model for deep-bed drying of barley. In their model, the
thermal properties of the grain and air were assumed to
be constant. Hemis et al.12 developed a nonequilibrium
mathematical model to simulate the deep-bed convective
drying of wheat and barley grains. The model was solved using
a nite difference discretization scheme and was validated
using experimental data. The predicted results agreed well with
the experimental data. Wu et al.13 used 2D and 3D nite
volume methods to compute heat and mass transfer inside
a single rice kernel and validate the models with their
experimental data. They concluded that it is sufcient to use
2D simulation in determining important features inside a rice
kernel such as the time for the occurrence of the maximum
moisture content gradient. Ghosh et al.14 developed a 3D
simultaneous heat and moisture transfer drying model for a
single wheat kernel. The boundary conditions were assumed
to be of the Neumann type (known ux or adiabatic) with
constant heat and mass transfer coefcients. Dong et al.15
performed a theoretical analysis for moisture content
responses of rough rice to drying and tempering treatments.
A simplied sphere drying model was used to predict the
intrakernel moisture content distributions. Chueaprasat and
Chitsomboon3 solved the governing equations describing the
simultaneous heat and mass transfer for a rice grain during a
drying process using a computational uid dynamics (CFD)
code based on the nite volume method. In their study, the
external air ow was excluded and transfer coefcients at the
boundaries were specied.
The majority of the above listed studies assumed either
(1) constant convective heat and mass transfer coefcients,
(2) a Dirichlet boundary condition instead of a convective
boundary condition, and (3) a simplied 1D or 2D
geometry. Adopting constant convective heat and mass
transfer coefcients in the analysis is not quite an accurate
representation of nature. In convective drying, the boundary
surfaces are subjected to convective heat and mass
transfer with a owing stream of dry and warm air. This
necessitates a mathematical model with convective (Robin)
boundary conditions instead of a Dirichlet or Neumann
boundary condition.16 So far, computational drying
technology is mainly a semitheoretical procedure where
boundary data such as heat and mass transfer coefcients
are specied from experimental correlations. It is highly
desirable for all transfer coefcients be computed rather than
specied.3
To the authors knowledge, no simulations have been
described in the literature to predict the rate of heat and mass

transfer within a single rice kernel subjected to heated air


ow with respect to the external ow and temperature elds.
Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate the
drying process of a rough rice grain by CFD simulation where
all local transfer coefcients are computed simultaneously with
the external ow eld and the internal diffusive eld of the
grain.
MATHEMATICAL MODEL
Transport Equations
The coupled CFD and diffusion model through a single
kernel was used in this study. The assumptions used for the
mathematical models were as follows: (1) the rice kernel is
a continuous ellipsoid divided into three layers: hull, bran,
and endosperm (Fig. 1); (2) the heat conduction and moisture
diffusion processes are unsteady; (3) shrinkage or deformation
of the rice kernel during drying is negligible; (4) no heat
generation inside the rice kernel (i.e., no heat of respiration is
included); and (5) the air ow is laminar.
To avoid the discontinuity problem occurring at the rice
kernelair interface, the moisture concentration has been
modeled as a continuous variable (i.e., continuous over the
entire domain; thus both the gas phase and rice kernel). To this
end, the moisture concentration of the air is not expressed as the
actual moisture content but as an equilibrium moisture content;
that is, as if the rice domain were extended over the entire air
domain. The actual air moisture concentration is then calculated
based on the desorption concentration, mentioned in Table 1.
Based on the above assumptions, the governing equations
describing the coupled CFD and diffusion model through
a single kernel in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate
system (x y z) are given by:
For the rice kernel:

M
=  DT M
(1)
t
T
Cp M
=  kMT 
(2)
t
For the drying air:
M
+ u M =  Dw T M (3)
t

FIG. 1. Dimensions (mm) of the hull, bran, and endosperm within a single
rice kernel (only a quarter of the kernel shown); X, Y , and Z axes are in the
direction of length, width, and thickness, respectively, of the kernel.

313

CONVECTIVE DRYING BEHAVIOR OF A SINGLE RICE KERNEL

TABLE 1
Material properties used in this study
Parameter (units)

Value or formulation

Cp (Jkg1 K1 

Endosperm: 1180 + 3766 M


Bran: 0.125/[1/(1201 + 3807 M  0 875/CpEndosperm ]
Hull: 0.2/[1/(1109 + 4477 M  0 1/CpBran 0 7/CpEndosperm ]
c 1456 + 705 M 
c for Hull = 0.532, Bran = 1.493, Endosperm = 1.257
0 0637 + 0 0958 M/0 656 0 475 M 
D = A exp(B/T + 273 15/3600
Endosperm: A = 1 6163 B = 5289 5
Bran: A = 110 969 B = 7042 5
Hull: A = 3 0101 B = 6000 5
0.229 104 [(Ta + 273 15/2731 75
0 295 0 045 lnTa + 35 01 ln(RH)]
2,500 kJ/kg

(kgm3 
k (Wm1 K1 
D (m2 s1 

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Reference

Dw (m2 s1 
Me (% db)

21
21
21
22

23
24

T
= Cp Mu T =  kMT  (4)
t

Outlet T x y z 0 = T0

(9)

Inow M = Me

(10)

Considering the ow as compressible, the continuity equation is

Outow n D  M = 0

Cp M


+  u = 0
t

(5)

and the momentum equation is


u
+  uu = p +   u + uT 
t
2
 uI
3

(6)

Boundary and Initial Conditions


The following conditions were applied to the boundary in
our model:
Vapor mass and heat transfer of the kernelair interface

are fully continuous.


The kernel surface is considered to be a no-slip wall and
the channel wall is considered to be a slip wall.
The drying air enters the channel at atmospheric pressure
with constant velocity (u  and leaves the channel at
atmospheric pressure.
The moisture content of the supplied air is equal to the
equilibrium moisture content of the isotherm relationship
between the kernel and the drying air.
At the kernelair interface (latent heat ux boundary
condition):
k

T
= m
n

(7)

For the drying air:

Inlet T x y z 0 = T

(8)

(11)

Initial conditions:

Mx y z 0 = M0

(12)

T x y z 0 = T0

(13)

It should be noted that D k Cp , and  were considered


functions of kernel temperature and/or moisture content and
differed for the different layers in the kernel, and Me and
Dw change with the drying medium temperature and relative
humidity. The formulae of those parameters used in this study
are listed in Table 1.
Dimensions
The rice kernel was modeled as a continuous ellipsoid
divided into three layers from the surface to the center: hull,
bran, and endosperm (Fig. 1). The ellipsoid was assumed to
have the following dimensions: 8.8 mm on the longitudinal
axis (X-axis), 2.4 mm on the short axis (Y -axis), and 1.92 mm
on the shortest axis (Z-axis).13
The rice kernel to be dried was modeled inside a cylindrical
channel with 10-mm radius and 90-mm length and exposed to
air ow through the channel. The kernel was placed centrally
at the middle of the channel and its longitudinal axis parallel
to the air direction (Fig. 2).
Model Implementation
All mathematical models were solved using the COMSOL
Multiphysics simulation program (ver. 4.3 Comsol Inc., Palo
Alto, CA, USA), which uses the nite element method to

314

ELGAMAL ET AL.

TABLE 2
Drying conditions used for the different simulations
Case

T ( C)

RH (%)

u (ms1 

60
45
30
60
60

7 5
15 5
35
7 5
7 5

0 1
0 1
0 1
0 05
0 5

Reference case
2
3
4
5

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FIG. 2.
drying.

Modeled geometry of a single rice kernel subjected to convective

solve the model equations. The representative meshed model


geometry is shown in Fig. 3. The number of elements in
the rice kernel and the channel were 121,366 and 106,862,
respectively. The grid dependency test shows no effect when
increasing the number of cells.
In COMSOL, the time-dependent solver (BDF) was used
with the direct solver (MUMPS). The number of degrees of
freedom solved for was 158,490 and the absolute tolerance was
0.0001. For a drying process of 5,400 s, the simulation takes
about 76 min on an Intel Core i7 PC (Windows 7, 3.4 GHz,
12 GB RAM).
The solution procedure contained the following steps: (1)
giving an initial temperature and moisture content distributions
inside the rice kernel; (2) solving the heat transfer equation to
obtain the temperature elds; (3) calculating that local mass
diffusion coefcient, which is dependent on the local kernel
temperature; (4) solving the mass transfer equation to obtain
the moisture content distributions; (5) calculating the local
values of the thermal conductivity, specic heat, and density
of rice, which are dependent on the local moisture content;

and (6) substituting all of the calculated values for the initial
ones, going back to step 2 and repeating the subsequent steps
until convergence.
Parameter Study Simulations
Simulations were carried out for a drying air temperature of
60 C, relative humidity of 7.5%, and air velocity of 0.1 ms1 .
These conditions are considered to be the reference case.
Knowledge of drying rates at various drying air conditions is
essential to obtain higher milling yields.17 To investigate the
effect of different conditions of the drying air on the drying
rate of the rice kernel, the simulations were repeated for two
different air temperatures (30, 45 C) and two different air
velocities (0.05, 0.5 ms1 , as shown in Table 2. The initial
temperature and initial moisture content of the rice kernel in all
cases were set at 27 C and 27% db, respectively. Additionally,
the kernel was rotated horizontally over 90 to be perpendicular
to the air direction to investigate the effect of kernel orientation
on the drying rate under reference case drying conditions only.
Determination of Heat and Mass Transfer Coefcients
Due to the impossibility of separating the convective
transfer coefcient from the complicated boundary at the
rice kernel in the coupled CFD and diffusion model, CFD
simulations were carried out to analyze the external ow and
temperature elds at steady-state. The solution domain for
the CFD simulations was the channel with an inactive rice
kernel. Interior boundaries were placed around the rice kernel
to exclude it from the CFD simulation. Simulations were
carried out for three different inlet velocities (0.05, 0.1, and
0.5 ms1 . The objective of performing these CFD simulations
was to calculate the heat transfer coefcient around the rice
kernel placed inside the channel. In the simulation, an inlet
temperature of 60 C and a wall temperature of 27 C were
assumed for the kernel surface.
From the temperature elds obtained, the local convective
heat transfer coefcient was determined using the heat balance
including conductive and convective heat transfer:
T
= hT Ts 
(14)
n
After the convective heat transfer coefcient (h was
determined, the convective mass transfer coefcient (hm 
k

FIG. 3. Meshed model geometry in COMSOL Multiphysics simulation


program.

CONVECTIVE DRYING BEHAVIOR OF A SINGLE RICE KERNEL

315

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was calculated using the analogy between the thermal and


concentration boundary layers according to Chilton and
Colburn18 :


2
Dw Le 3
hm = h
(15)
k



Le =

(16)
Dw
MODEL VALIDATION
Experimental data on thin-layer drying of rice conducted
by Yang et al.10 and Wu et al.13 were used to validate the
present simulation. The conditions used in the experiment were
as shown in Table 3.
The predicted average moisture content of the kernel and
the experimental data of Yang et al.10 and Wu et al.13
are shown in Figs. 4 and 5. Preliminary simulation results
showed a difference in average moisture contents (<1% wb),
especially at the later drying stage, between the predicted and
measured data. Such a discrepancy was believed to result from
the fact that the model parameters, such as the mass diffusion
coefcient D, which is the major parameter related to mass
transfer rate, were not measured for the Cypress cultivar used
in the experimental studies.1013 Instead, it was obtained from
literature (Table 1), which was for a different rice variety
Lemont. Therefore, correction was made to D in this study
TABLE 3
Drying condition used for thin-layer drying tests
T  C) RH (%) u (ms1  M0 (wb) T0 ( C) Reference
60
60

17
17

0.11
0.11

21.4
22.1

27
29

10
13

FIG. 4. Measured and simulated average moisture contents of a Cypress


rough rice kernel at 60 C drying air temperature, 17% relative humidity, and
21.4% (wb) initial moisture content.

FIG. 5. Measured and simulated average moisture contents of a rice kernel


at 60 C drying air temperature, 17% relative humidity, and 22.1% (wb) initial
moisture content.

by multiplying an empirical correction coefcient of 1.2 as


obtained by Wu et al.13 In Figs. 4 and 5, D of Lemont and D
of Cypress represent the simulated results without and with
the correction of D, respectively. From the two gures, it can
be seen that the simulated moisture content agreed well with
the experimental data after the correction of D.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Results of the Reference Case
The results of the reference case simulation (air temperature
60 C, relative humidity 7.5%, and air velocity 0.1 ms1 
are presented in this section. The velocity contours and the
temperature prole of time (60 s) in the XY plane for the
reference case are shown in Figs. 6 and 7. It is seen from
Fig. 6 that the velocity was comparatively lower behind the
kernel compared to other locations around the kernel. This
makes the heat and mass transfer coefcients leeward at the

FIG. 6. Velocity contour around the rice kernel in the XY plane at Z = 0 mm


(u = 0.1 ms1 .

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316

ELGAMAL ET AL.

FIG. 7. Temperature distribution around and inside the rice kernel in the XY
plane at (Z = 0 mm) after 60 s of drying (reference case).

lowered boundary, resulting in the lowest temperature of the


rice kernel in the region closer to that boundary, which can be
seen in Fig. 7.
The moisture gradients have been identied as the major
source of ssuring of a rice grain. Sarker et al.19 and Yang
et al.10 found that moisture content gradients inside the rice
kernel have great effects on rice grain quality. The moisture
content gradient was determined as the moisture content
difference between the outer bran node and the center node of
the grain kernel divided by the distance between them. In order
to examine the moisture and thermal gradients in detail, it is
important to know the temperature and moisture distributions
in the kernel. One advantage of CFD is that temperature and
moisture elds over the whole computational domain at each
time step are available. The moisture distributions within the
rice kernel after different drying time step are illustrated in
Fig. 8. It shows that the moisture content at the kernel center
was still at a level of about 23% (db) after 60 min of drying.
However, the moisture content at the kernel surface quickly
approached the equilibrium moisture content of 4.7% (db) in
this drying condition, which agrees with the ndings reported
by Yang et al.10
Moreover, during rough rice drying, husk loses its moisture
very rapidly in the initial stages of drying and the brown rice
(consisting of endosperm and the bran) loses its moisture at a
much lower but nearly steady rate. These observations clearly
support the earlier ndings that continuing heated air drying
after 20 min is not very effective because the husk is already
dried by this time and moisture loss occurs mainly from the
inner brown rice kernel, which is very slow to lose moisture.
Figure 9 illustrates the moisture gradients along the two
short axes (i.e., Y and Z axes) under the drying conditions of
the reference case. It can be seen that the gradients reached a
maximum value of 11.7% (db) mm1 at approximately 45 min
along the Z-axis in the thickness direction, and peaked at

FIG. 8. Moisture content distributions (% db) inside the rice kernel in the
XY plane for the reference case.

8.6% (db) mm1 at around 54 min along the Y -axis in the


width direction. It was found that the maximum moisture
gradients in the thickness direction were nearly 1.5 times
those in the direction of width for the rice under the drying
conditions of the reference case. These results corresponded
well with the results of Wu et al.,13 who found that the
maximum moisture gradients in the thickness direction were
nearly double those in the width direction for the rice variety
used in this study. Because the moisture gradient remained at
a high value throughout the rest of the drying process after it
peaked, as can be seen in Fig. 9, tempering should be used
in order to reduce a possible contribution of moisture gradient
to hygroscopically induced ssuring.10 The tempering stage

FIG. 9.

Moisture content gradients on the short axis (reference case).

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CONVECTIVE DRYING BEHAVIOR OF A SINGLE RICE KERNEL

317

FIG. 11. Average moisture content of the kernel at different drying air
temperatures.

FIG. 10. Temperature distributions ( C) inside the rice kernel in the XY


plane for the reference case.

allows the transfer of moisture from the center to the surface


of the grain. This eliminates to a large extent the moisture
gradient inside the grain imposed during the previous drying
stage, which in turn inuences the drying rate in the next
drying stage and, consequently, the quality of the nal product
is improved.20
The temperature distribution within the rice kernel at
different time steps (reference case) is shown in Fig. 10. It
shows that in the initial stage of drying, the temperature of
the front tip of the kernel was higher than the back tip at the
same time. This indicates that the heat transfer coefcients
vary along the kernel surface, as will be discussed later in this
study. For instance, after 10 s of drying the temperature of the
front tip increased to 48 C, and the temperature of the back tip
increased to 39 C. Meanwhile, the center temperature was still
at the initial temperature (27 C) after 10 s of drying. As the
drying process continued, the temperature distribution leveled
off rapidly. Therefore, the drying process needs to be managed
carefully in order to minimize the damage that may arise from
the thermal stress within the kernel.
Effect of Different Drying Conditions on the Drying Rate
The simulation was repeated for different drying air
conditions (Table 3). The drying curves obtained from the
reference case simulation and the different drying temperatures
(cases 2 and 3) are shown in Fig. 11. As expected, the drying
rates of the rice kernel were higher at higher temperatures.
For example, the initial drying rates (in the rst 20 min) of
the rice kernel at 30, 45, and 60 C were 7, 12, and 19% per
hour, respectively. This increase in the drying rates of the rice

kernel with an increase in drying temperature is due to the


increase in moisture diffusivity, which makes moisture move
faster at higher temperatures. Figure 11 also demonstrates that
the different orientations of the kernel to the air ow direction
did not show any effect on the average moisture content of the
kernel under the same drying conditions (reference case).
On the contrary, the variation in the inlet air velocity
(reference case, cases 4 and 5) showed a minor effect on the
drying rate of the rice kernel as shown in Fig. 12. The drying
curves reveal that up to 90 min of drying, the average moisture
contents of the rice kernels dried by air at the three velocities
varied very little (<0.22%). No differences were observed in
the average moisture content of the rice kernel at air velocities
of 0.05 and 0.1 ms1 . However, the air velocity of 0.5 ms1
had a slightly higher moisture removal up to 90 min of drying.
Figure 13 summarizes the effect of the inlet air velocity
on the change in the kernel temperature. It can be observed
that the heat transfer rate of the rice kernel increased with
the increase in inlet air velocity. Figure 13 also demonstrates
that a minor difference in the average kernel temperature was

FIG. 12. Average moisture content of the kernel at different drying air
velocities.

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ELGAMAL ET AL.

FIG. 13. Average temperatures of the kernel at different drying air velocities
and different orientations.

FIG. 15. Heat transfer coefcient along the upper edge of the kernel surface
at different inlet velocities.

observed for the different orientations of the kernel to the air


ow direction. The kernel temperature increased minimally
faster in the perpendicular orientation than in the parallel
orientation (reference case) with the air direction due to the
altered ow pattern of the drying air over the kernel surface.

ow direction. Moreover, it is observed that the heat transfer


coefcient was sufciently higher at the boundary facing the
inlet (Fig. 14) because of the immediate contact with the hot
air. On the contrary, the heat transfer coefcients were quite
low at the boundary facing the outlet because of less exposure
to the hot air. Similar results were reported in the literature for
drying of moist objects shaped as rectangular cuboids.16
Figure 15 shows how the heat transfer coefcient increased
along the kernel surface with increasing inlet air velocity. The
heat transfer coefcients are plotted along the length direction
(X-axis) at different inlet air velocities. At the front tip facing
the inlet, the heat transfer coefcient increased from 90 to 200
Wm2 K1 when the air ow velocity increased from 0.05 to
0.5 ms1 .
After the heat transfer coefcient was determined, the
mass transfer coefcient was calculated from Eq. (15). The
mass transfer coefcient therefore takes the same trend
as the heat transfer coefcient presented above. Table 4
presents quantitatively the convective heat and mass transfer
coefcients for all three velocities considered. The values
of heat and mass transfer coefcients varied from 17 to
203 W/m2 K and from 0.016 to 0.196 m/s, respectively, for
different inlet velocities. Yang et al.,10 Chueaprasat and
Chitsomboon,3 and Wu et al.13 used 0.0434 ms1 for the
mass transfer coefcient and 36.5 Wm2 K1 as the heat

Heat and Mass Transfer Coefcients


Three CFD simulations were carried out for inlet air
velocities of 0.05, 0.1, and 0.5 ms1 . From the temperature
elds obtained, the local convective heat transfer coefcient
was determined using Eq. (14). Because the trends of the
heat transfer coefcient contours are the same for all inlet
velocities, only one case is presented in Fig. 14. It shows the
distribution of the heat transfer coefcient at the kernel surface
for air inlet velocity of 0.1 ms1 . The heat transfer coefcient
varies along the X-direction. It should also be mentioned that
the values of the heat transfer coefcient are symmetric about
the Y and Z axes because of the orientation of the kernel to the

TABLE 4
Heat and mass transfer coefcients at different inlet air
velocities
h (Wm2 K1 
u (ms1  Min

FIG. 14. Heat transfer coefcient distribution along the kernel surface at an
inlet velocity of 0.1 ms1 .

0.05
0.1
0.5

Max Average Min

hm (ms1 
Max

Average

16.57 92 94 22.36 0.0160 0.0895 0 02152


18.66 113 77 26.19 0.0180 0.1095 0 02521
24.06 203 46 42.11 0.0230 0.1959 0 04053

CONVECTIVE DRYING BEHAVIOR OF A SINGLE RICE KERNEL

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transfer coefcient. The values of hm and h used by these


authors are nearly twice the average values found in the study
presented here for the same drying conditions of the Cypress
rice. Because the boundary layer around the kernel is not
the limiting factor for drying in the presented geometry, this
did not really affect their results. However, in other setups
(for simulating deep bed dryers) the precise determination
of transfer coefcients (and their distributions) might highly
inuence the results.
CONCLUSIONS
A coupled CFD and diffusion model was developed
in this study where all transfer coefcients are computed
simultaneously with the external ow eld and the internal
diffusive eld of the rice kernel. The model was used
successfully to describe the coupled heat and mass transfer
inside a single rice kernel during drying. The theoretical
prediction of moisture kinetics of rice kernels was veried
using experimental data from literature.
It was observed that an increase in the air temperature gave
rise to an increase in the drying rate of the rice kernel. The
initial drying rate (over the rst 20 min) increased from 7 to
19% per hour with an increase in the drying air temperature
from 30 to 60 C.
The heat and mass transfer coefcients increased with
increasing air ow velocity. On the other hand, there was no
visible effect of the inlet air velocity in the range of 0.05
0.5 ms1 on the drying rates, due to the diffusion limitation
on the drying rate for the single rice kernel.
The heat and mass transfer coefcients varied along the
kernel surface. Their values were much higher at the boundary
facing the inlet and quite low at the boundary facing the outlet
of the drying air.
It is clear that the proposed heat and mass transfer
model considering variable heat and mass transfer coefcients
is capable of predicting reasonably accurate temperature
and moisture content distributions for a single rice kernel
at different temperatures and air velocities. Moreover, the
proposed model can take into account different energy
inuences such as infrared, microwave, or solar radiation
exposure and can be extended to allow modeling of a bulk
of rice kernels or other grains for further large-scale drying
process optimization.
NOMENCLATURE
A, B, c Constants
BDF
Backward differentiation formula
Specic heat (Jkg1 K1 
Cp
D
Moisture diffusivity (m2 s1 
h
Convective heat transfer coefcient (Wm2 K1 
hm
Convective mass transfer coefcient (ms1 
I
Identity matrix
k
Thermal conductivity (Wm1 K1 

Le
M
m
MUMPS
n
p
RH
T
t
u

x y z

319

Lewis number
Moisture content, % (db)
Mass ux (kgm2 s1 
MUltifrontal Massively Parallel Sparse direct
Solver
Normal vector
Air pressure (Pa)
Relative humidity (decimal)
Temperature (K)
Time (s)
Air velocity (ms1 
Divergence operator
Cartesian coordinates

Greek Symbols

Thermal diffusivity (m2 s1 

Latent heat of vaporization (Jkg1 

Dynamic viscosity of air (Pas)

Density (kgm3 
Subscripts
0

a
e
s
w

and Superscripts
Initial conditions
Inlet air conditions
Air
Equilibrium conditions
Kernel surface
Water vapor
Wet basis

FUNDING
The authors acknowledge the nancial support provided by
the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education under the joint
supervision Ph.D. grant program.
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