BIOMASS BURNER WITH FLUE GAS TO AIR HEAT EXCHANGER FOR RUBBER SHEET DRYING
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Prince of Songkla University, HatYai, Songkla, Thailand, 90110
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Drying is one of means for preservation of many kinds of agricultural products, food and rubber. The aim of this paper is to design and construct biomass-fueled dryer which its operation subject to forced convection to dry the rubber sheets. The multi-pass shell and tube heat exchanger was fabricated and installed inside a small biomass oven to produce hot air and supply to the drying chamber. This dryer is designed for small-scale commercial producers of agricultural products in non-electrified locations. Several stainless steel tubes and junction boxes were connected to build the air flow path through the heat exchanger. A 370W centrifugal blower was employed to force the air to flow throughout the piping system. A return air duct was constructed for efficient use of combustion energy. To effectively run the system, the preheating period should be set in the first hour by providing 5 kg firewood at the beginning. Next, the rubber sheets were loaded into the drying chamber and the firewood feed rate was 1 kg per hour. During 4 hours of drying, the system was able to keep the temperature in drying room at 54.3 3.5 C o and the total weight loss of a sample rubber sheet was 90