Caracterização e secagem de sementes de painço (Setaria italica L.)
Pereira, Abigail Vasconcelos
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In this work were determined the main physicochemical properties of seeds of millet (Setaria italica) and their dependence on the moisture content. The drying of seeds under different conditions was also evaluated in order to investigate the parameters that affect the process and determine appropriate drying conditions to have a product with adequate conditions for storage. For moisture content ranging between 13 and 30% (bs) were obtained the linear dimensions (length, width and thickness), perimeter, area, volume, sphericity. Additionally were obtained the real and apparent specific masses and the seeds porosity. It was observed that the dimensions, sphericity and bulk density did not change significantly in the range of moisture investigated. The volume and specific mass increased linearly, both around 7%. The effective thermal conductivity of the packed-bed of seeds was measured using the technique of transient regime heating probe. For the packed-bed of seeds with average porosity of 35% was obtained an effective thermal conductivity of 0.085 ± 0.003 W/moC. From measurements of the effective thermal conductivity for beds of powdered seeds with different porosities was obtained the conductivity of the solid phase, equals to 0.152 W/moC. Drying experiments were carried out on a thin layer of seeds (thickness of 1.0 cm) for air drying temperatures of 35, 40 and 45 ° C and air velocities of 0.5 and 1.5 m/s. The desired moisture reduction was obtained in approximately 400 minutes, and it was verified that the variation of temperature and air velocity did not affect the process in the conditions evaluated. The kinetic model that best fitted experimental data is given by empirical equation of Page, with coefficients k = 0.047 and n = 0.74. The drying experiments were performed in fixed packed-beds using a 35.6 cm high and 5.8 cm diameter column. The permeability of the packed-bed of seeds, determined by measurements of pressure drop as a function of air velocity, was equal to 7.9 x10-10 m2. The experimental setup allowed the measurements of moisture and temperature profiles along the bed height for air temperatures of 35 and 45 oC. The results indicate that moisture and temperature varied along the length and time. The moisture varied linearly for the conditions investigated, while the temperature variation was not linear and decreased sharply in the positions more distant from the base of the bed. A characteristic behavior of thin-layer bed, with uniform temperature, was observed only for bed heights less than 4 cm. The same column of fixed bed tests was used in the drying experiments performed in the fluidized mode, with a static bed height equals to 13 cm. The drying air velocity was 0.41 m/s and the temperatures were 35, 40 and 45 oC. In this case the drying showed characteristics similar to those observed for the thin layer drying: drying time around 400 minutes and no influence of the increase in the temperature. The drying rate can be estimated by the Page, with k = 0.0268 and n = 0.816. Fluidized bed drying is in a first analysis preferable than fixed bed drying because the intense mixture prevents the formation of temperature and moisture gradients. The results of this work may be useful for modeling the drying process and design of dryers to be developed for millet or similar seeds.