Through Drying Characteristic of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) Fiber Using Superheated Steam
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This study successfully shows good performance in drying characteristic of through drying system using empty fruit bunches (EFB) as the material to be dried and superheated steam as drying medium. The optimum drying rate was obtained under temperature range of 200 – 220oC and velocity of 0,89 – 0.99 m/s. Under higher temperature than 220oC and at fixed velocity of 0.89 m/s this investigation found two drying rate periods, i.e. the increasing drying rate period and the falling drying rate period. Similar condition was also observed under velocity range of 0.89-1.09 at fixed 220oC. However, at lower 220oC using fixed velocity of 0.99 m /s and at lower velocity than 0.89 m /s (fixed 220oC), this experiment shows a constant drying rate period besides the increasing and falling rate period. By equation simulation using experimental data, the exponential increasing rate (ni) and exponential coefficient were found to be 2.909 and 1.065 respectively, while the power in falling rate period (nf) was found to be 1.506. These two parameters (ni and nf) improves the drying characteristic performance by producing shorter drying time.