The feasibility of the application of a tray drier in dewatering microalgae was investigated. Response surface methodology (RSM) based on Central Composite Design (CCD) was used to evaluate and optimise the effect of air temperature and air velocity as independent variables on the dewatering efficiency as a response function. The significance of independent variables and their interactions was tested by means of analysis of variance (ANOVA) with a 95% confidence level. Results indicate that the air supply temperature was the main parameter affecting dewatering efficiency, while air velocity had a slight effect on the process. The optimum operating conditions to achieve maximum dewatering were determined: air velocities and temperatures ranged between 4 to 10 m/s and 40 to 56 °C respectively. An optimised dewatering efficiency of 92.83% was achieved at air an velocity of 4 m/s and air temperature of 48 °C. Energy used per 1 kg of dry algae was 0.34 kWh.
- tray drier
- renewable energy
- design expert
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