Mathematical Modeling of Thin-Layer Drying Kinetics of Piper aduncum L. Leaves

  •  Wellytton Darci Quequeto    
  •  Valdiney Cambuy Siqueira    
  •  Geraldo Acácio Mabasso    
  •  Eder Pedroza Isquierdo    
  •  Rafael Araujo Leite    
  •  Lucas Rodrigues Ferraz    
  •  Renata Henrique Hoscher    
  •  Vanderleia Schoeninger    
  •  Rodrigo Aparecido Jordan    
  •  André Luis Duarte Goneli    
  •  Elton Aparecido Siqueira Martins    


As well as most agricultural products, some medicinal plants need to go through a drying process to ensure quality maintenance, however each product behaves differently. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the drying kinetics of spiked pepper (Piper aduncum L.) leaves and determine their thermodynamic properties at different drying temperatures in laboratory scale. Leaves with initial moisture content of 78% w.b. (wet basis) were subjected to drying at temperatures of 40, 50, 60 and 70 ºC and air speed of 0.85 m s-1 in an experimental fixed bed dryer. The drying kinetics of the leaves was described by statistical fitting of mathematical models and determination of effective diffusion coefficient and activation energy. Enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy were also evaluated for all drying conditions. It was concluded that, among the models evaluated, only Midilli and Valcam can be used to represent the drying of Piper aduncum leaves; the first for the two highest temperatures (60 and 70 ºC) and the second for 40 and 50 ºC. The activation energy was approximately 55.64 kJ mol-1, and the effective diffusion coefficient increase with the elevation of temperature. The same occurs with the values of Gibbs free energy, whereas the specific enthalpy and entropy decrease.

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