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Scientia Agricola

Print version ISSN 0103-9016

Abstract

ALMEIDA, Celina de  and  ROCHA, Sandra Cristina dos Santos. Fluid-dynamics of broccoli seeds in fluized and spouted beds. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2002, vol.59, n.4, pp. 645-652. ISSN 0103-9016.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162002000400004.

The spouted and fluidized bed technologies are usually employed in operations of drying, coating and granulation of particles by the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The use of these techniques in agronomy is limited to the treatment of some species of seeds. In this work, the objective was to analyse the fluid-dynamics of fluidized and spouted beds when broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. Italica) seeds are used and also to verify the influence on seed germination after 60 min of seed exposition to spouting or fluidization, at room temperature. The fluid-dynamics was defined by the measurements of the bed pressure drop as a function of the air flow rate for different seeds loads. The experimental conditions were based on the physical properties of the seeds and were limited by the apparatus dimensions. The cone-cylindrical bed was constructed in plexyglass to permit flow visualization. The values of the parameters: maximum pressure drop, minimum spouting flow rate and pressure drop, and stable spout pressure drop were experimentally obtained from the fluid-dynamic analysis and were compared with the values calculated by empirical equations found in the literature. The same procedure was carried out with the fluidized bed and the important parameters for this regime were the air velocity and the bed pressure drop at minimum fluidization. The analysis of seed germination indicated that no damage was caused to the seeds by the spout or fluidization processes.

Keywords : pressure drop; flow rate; seed; germination; fluidization.

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