Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering
Print version ISSN 0104-6632
On-line version ISSN 1678-4383
RESENDE, E. D.; KIECKBUSCH, T. G.; TOLEDO, E. C. V. and MACIEL, M. R. W.. Discretisation of the non-linear heat transfer equation for food freezing processes using orthogonal collocation on finite elements. Braz. J. Chem. Eng. [online]. 2007, vol.24, n.3, pp.399-409. ISSN 0104-6632. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-66322007000300009.
The freezing process is considered as a propagation problem and mathematically classified as an "initial value problem." The mathematical formulation involves a complex situation of heat transfer with simultaneous changes of phase and abrupt variation in thermal properties. The objective of the present work is to solve the non-linear heat transfer equation for food freezing processes using orthogonal collocation on finite elements. This technique has not yet been applied to freezing processes and represents an alternative numerical approach in this area. The results obtained confirmed the good capability of the numerical method, which allows the simulation of the freezing process in approximately one minute of computer time, qualifying its application in a mathematical optimising procedure. The influence of the latent heat released during the crystallisation phenomena was identified by the significant increase in heat load in the early stages of the freezing process.
Keywords : Freezing process; Modelling; Heat load; Numerical method.