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Revista Ciência Agronômica

On-line version ISSN 1806-6690


SIQUEIRA, Valdiney Cambuy; RESENDE, Osvaldo  and  CHAVES, Tarcísio Honório. Mathematical modelling of the drying of jatropha fruit: an empirical comparison. Rev. Ciênc. Agron. [online]. 2013, vol.44, n.2, pp.278-285. ISSN 1806-6690.

The jatropha has emerged on the world scene as a promising plant for the production of biodiesel. However, this crop still lacks the development of specific equipment for its processing, particularly post-harvest. Therefore, the aim of this work was to fit different mathematical models to experimental data obtained while drying jatropha fruits, and to recommend the one that best represents the facts. Jatropha fruit with a moisture content of 4.4 (kg moisture kg-1 dry matter) were subjected to drying in a greenhouse with forced air-ventilation at five temperature conditions: 45; 60; 75; 90 and 10 ºC and relative humidities of 14.5; 7.4; 3.8; 2.2 and 1.4%, respectively, until reaching a moisture content of 0.10 ± 0.005 (kg moisture kg-1 dry matter),with three replications. Ten mathematical models, used to represent the drying of agricultural products, were adjusted to fit the experimental drying data. The models were analyzed using the coefficient of determination, chi-square, mean relative error, mean estimated error and residual distribution. It can be concluded that the Page model satisfactorily describes the kinetics of jatropha-fruit drying, at temperatures of 60; 75; 90 and 105 ºC. However, drying at a temperature of 45 ºC produced different behavior, making necessary the adjustment of a new model to describe the phenomenon.

Keywords : Biodiesel; Drying temperatures; Mathematical models.

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