Drying is out of the major problem in post harvest operation. The traditional method of  Drying (Sun drying) is weather dependent and unhygienic which affect food storage most especially in developing countries like India where more than 3300 to 3700 hours of bright sunshine per year available in North- West and West coastal region. The dryer consist of the following operating component parts: a cabinet, blower, trays, temperature controller, copper wire and light emitting Diode (LED) screen and switch. The factors considered in the study were turmeric of 2000g weight, temperature (500C, 600C and 800C) and each were replicated 3 times. The testing was carried out in term of drying rate, amount of moisture loss and applied temperature. Temperature of 600C and 700C favours the drying of the three weight that temperature of 400C. the time taken for each figure sample at different weight and temperature differs. Hence, the higher the temperature the lesser the time taken for the turmeric to dry, the higher the weight the higher the time taken for turmeric to dry, the statistical analysis (ANOVA) shows that there is high significance difference at 5% in the mean value of the drying rate as affected by temperature 400C and there high significance difference at 1% and 5% in the mean value of the drying rate. The efficiency of the battery operated biomass dryer on the modification to the biomass dryer was evaluated to be N 223,250.00.


Cover Page i

Title Page ii

Certification iii

Dedication iv

Acknowledgments v

Abstract vi

Table of Contents vii

List of Tables xi

List of Figures xii

List of Plates xiii


1.1 Background to the Study 1

1.2 Problem  Statement 2

1.3 Aim and Objectives 2

1.4 Justification 3

1.5 Scope of the Project 3


2.1 Drying as an Element of Post Harvest 4

2.1.1 Types of Losses 5 Moisture Content 6 Damage 6 Direct and Indirect Losses 6 Weight Loss 6 Quality Loss 6 Food Loss 7 Seed Viability Loss 7 Commercial Loss 7

2.2 Methods of Drying 8

2.2.1 Traditional method of drying 8

2.2.2 Modern Methods of Drying 8

2.3 Mechanisms of Drying 9

2.4 Basic Theory of Drying 10

2.4.1 Thin Layer Drying 11

2.4.2 Deep Bed Drying 14

2.5 Factors affecting rate of drying 15

2.5.1 Crop Parameters 15

2.5.2 Air Parameters 16

2.5.3 Dryer Parameters 17

2.6 Review of Dryers 17

2.7 Drying Process 18

2.8 Agronomy of Turmeric 19

2.8.1 Benefit of Turmeric 19

2.9      Sources of Energy for Drying 20

2.9.1    Briquette as a Source of Energy 20

2.9.2  Solar as a Source of Energy 21

2.9.3 The Fossil Fuels 21

2.9.4 Electricity 21

2.9.5 Nuclear Power 21

2.9.6 Hydro Power 22

2.9.7 Geothermal Energy 22

2.9.8 Wind Power 22


3.1 Modified Areas on the Biomass Dryer 23

3.2 Materials 23

3.2.1 Charcoal 23

3.2.2 Digital Weighing Scale 24

3.2.3 Temperature Monitor and Controller 24

3.2.4 Biomass Dryer 25

3.2.5 Digital Venier Caliper 25

3.2 Description of the Machine 26

3.3 Component Parts of the Biomass Dryer 26

3.3.1 Chimney 27

3.3.2 Drying Tray 27

3.3.3 Drying Chamber 27

3.3.4 Solar Panel 27

3.3.5 Battery 28

3.3.6 Ash Port 28

3.3.7 Temperature Controller 28

3.3.8 Centrifugal Fan (Blower) 28

3.3.9 LED Screen 28

3.3.10 Charge Controller 28

3.3.11 Copper Pipe 29

3.4 Design Consideration for the Biomass Dryer 29

3.4.1 Air Temperature 29

3.4.2 Air Relative Humidity 29

3.4.3 Air Flow Rate 30

3.5 Material Selection 30

3.6 Operation of the Biomass Dryer 31

3.7 Design Analysis/Design Calculation 31

3.7.1 Design for the Volume/Capacity of Drying Tray 31

3.7.2 Design of Area of the Temperature Controller 31

3.7.3 Design of Area of Copper Pipe 32

3.7.4 Design of Area for the Burning Chamber 32

3.7.5 The Amount of Moisture to be Removed from Agricultural Produce 32

3.7.6 Design for Solar Panel Capacity 33

3.7.7 Drying Rate 33

3.7.8 Design Calculation and Analysis 33

3.8 Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) 35

3.10.1    Sourcing of Raw Material 37

3.10.2 Sample Preparation 37

3.10.3 Experimental Design and Layout 37

3.10.4 Experimental Procedure 38

3.10.5      Output Parameter 38   Measurement for Drying Rate 38 Determination of Water Loss 38


4.1 Results 40

4.2 Discussion 44

4.2.1 Effect of Drying Rate on Turmeric at 500C 44


5.1 Conclusions 48

5.2 Recommendations 48

Reference 50

Appendix A 54

Appendix B 56

Appendix C 58

Appendix D 60


Table No                                  Description                                                                       Pages

Table 3.1:  Bought out Components for the Production 36

Table 3.2:  Cost of Materials for the Production 36

Table 4.1 Drying Rate of Turmeric at 500C When Loaded with 2000g 40

Table 4.2 Drying Rate of Turmeric at 600C When Loaded with 2000g 40

Table 4.3 Drying rate of Turmeric at 700C When Loaded with 2000g 41

Table 4.4 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) Table for Sample 3mm, 6mm and 9mm at Temperature 500C. 41

Table 4.5 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) Table for Sample 3mm, 6mm and 9mm at Temperature 600C. 41

Table 4.6 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) Table for Sample 3mm, 6mm and 9mm at Temperature 700C 43


Figure No                                  Description                                                                       Pages

Figure 2.1: The Period of drying 11

Figure 4.1: Effect of Drying Rate of Turmeric at 500C of 3mm, 6mm and 9mm size of Turmeric 44

Figure 4.2: Effect of Drying Rate of Turmeric at 600C of 3mm, 6mm and 9mm size of Turmeric 45

Figure 4.3: Effect of Drying Rate of Turmeric at 700C of 3mm, 6mm and 9mm size of Turmeric 46


Plate No                                  Description                                                                       Pages

Plate 3.1: Charcoal 23

Plate 3.2: Digital Weighing Scale 24

Plate 3.3: Temperature Controller 24

Plate 3.4: Biomass Dryer 25

Plate 3.5: Digital Venier Caliper 25

Plate 4.1: Sliced Tormeric Before Drying 39



1.1 Background to the Study

Drying is the dehydration process used to remove the moisture present in food products by the application of heat.  The heat may be supplied either by hot air or from the biomass energy.  Drying process is used to preserve the food products for future usage.  Drying prevents the growth of bacteria and yeast formation.  Drying can be achieved by using open air and biomass dryers. (Atulet al, 2014). Drying has a vital role in post harvest processing. It has always been of great importance for conserving agricultural products and for extending the food shelflife. (Doymaz 2007).

Drying crops by biomass energy is of great economic importance, especially in Nigeria where most of crops and grain harvests are lost to fungal and microbial attack. These wastage could be easily prevented by proper drying which enhance storage of crops and grains over long period of time. The biomass energy can easily be harnessed by a proper design of biomass dryer for crop drying. This method of drying requires the transfer of both heat and water vapor (Forsonet al, 2007). Biomass drying is a process of using biomass energy to heat air and the product so as to achieve drying of agricultural products (Ajay et al, 2009).  Biomass air heaters are simple devices to heat air by utilizing biomass energy and employed rate temperature between 800C such as crop drying and space heating (Bukola and Ayoola, 2008).  

Biomass can be define as all renewable or organic matter including plant materials, animal products, and forestry by products and urban wastes etc  with highly different properties to be used as fuels. Energy obtained from biomass is not site specific, thus can be established at any place where plant and animal waste is available. The biomass backup burner helps the small scale farmers to dry their product in a more efficient manner.  It is also able to reduce the drying time as compared to direct sun drying (Paistet al, 2005).

The biomass dryer is one of the dryers which has achieved some level of acceptance.  One of the important disadvantages of the dryer is that it cannot be used without any backup heater during night times and cloudy days. Introducing biomass makes the dryer operational even beyond sunshine hours (IEA, 2011).

1.2 Problem  Statement

Majority of the rural farmers do not have access to sustainable electricity supply. Therefore, the biomass dryer are used to operate during raining season at harvest time, the biomass dryer must also be able to continue drying during this period in order to achieve effective drying.  It must be able to continue drying until late evening to shorten the drying period (Akhraniet al, 2013).  With the price of energy constantly rising, the use of biomass presents air option for decreasing energy dependency. There is also an account locally produced biomass contributes to self-sufficiency and a low dependency on the energy market and on other region (Hutla and Mazancova, 2004).

Thus, there is the need to design and fabricate a biomass dryer that would solve the above mentioned problems for the farmers.

1.3 Aim and Objectives

This aim of this project is tomodified a biomass dryer in order to reduce the moisture content of agricultural crop so as to prolong their shelflife using biomass as a source of heat generation.

The specific objectives of this project are:-

i. To extend the condenser in the drying chamber for easy conveyance of the heated air

ii. To redesign briquette  chamber to avoid heat loss and for easy loading of briquette

iii. To introduce copper pipe for easy transfer of heat into the drying trays 

iv. To carryout performance evaluation on the biomass dryer in term of weight loss, temperature and time

1.4 Justification

The open sun drying process is a slow process, dried products will be of low quality due to contamination of dust particle, damages due to rain and moisture present in the air.  Also there is a loss of food products due to insects, birds and animals.  Thus there is need to design an integrated biomass dryer that helps to achieve above mentioned and also to reduce the effect of atmospheric pollution on the product because it is carried out in a closed environment (Atul Petal, 2014).

1.5 Scope of the Project

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa L.) is one of the essential of the Indian recipes. Besides the taste and aroma, it is also being used for material value since ancient times. (Jacob 2005). Turmeric is a specie derived from the rhizomes of Curcuma Longa, which is a member of the ginger family Zingiberaceae. The bright yellow colour of turmeric comes mainly from polyphonic pigment curcuminoids (Aggarwalet al., 2007). 

The preservation of turmeric cannot be over emphasized in order to reduce post harvest loss of agricultural produce.



2.1 Drying as an Element of Post Harvest

Drying is an excellent way to preserve crop and solar dryers are appropriate crop preservation technology for sustainable development.  Crop drying is the most energy consuming process in all process on the farm.  The purpose of drying is to remove moisture from the agricultural produce so that it can be processed safely and stored for increase periods of time.  Crops are also dried before storage or during storage, to prevent spontaneous combustion by inhibiting fermentation.  It is estimated that 20% of the world crop production is lost after harvest because of inefficient handling and poor implementation of post – harvest technology, says (Hartman’s, 2001).  Grains and seeds are normally harvested at a moisture level between 18% and 40% depending on the nature of crop.  These must be dried to a level of 7% to 11% depending on application and market need.  Once a crop is harvested, it may have to be stored for a period of time before it can be marketed or used as feed.  The length of time a crop can be safely stored will depend on the condition it was harvested and type of storage facilities being utilized. This crop can be kept in storage for longer period of time before it quality will deteriorate. 

The application of dryer can reduce post harvest losses and is economical because of low cost and does not make use of electricity.  Thus improving the availability of crop in such country (Khalilet al, 2007)

Post harvest losses occur between harvest and the moment of human consumption. They may include on-farm losses, such as when crops are threshed, winnowed and dried as well as losses along the chain during transportation, storage and processing. (Harris et. al 2006).

The main cause of loss during drying is the cracking of grain kernel that are eaten whole, such as rice. Some crops may also be lost during the drying process. However, failure to dry crops adequately can lead to much higher levels of loss than poor. Quality drying and may result in the entire harvest becoming inedible.

Adequate drying by farmers is essential if crops are to be stored on farm and poorly dried crops for the market need to be sold quickly to enable the marketing processing chain to carryout adequate drying before the agricultural crop become spoilt. With a high moisture content, crop is susceptible to mould, heating, discoloration and a variety of chemical changes. Ideally, most crops should be dried to acceptable level within 2-3 days of harvest one of the problems in assessing levels of post harvest loss is in separating weight loss caused by the very necessary drying operation  from weight loss caused by other controllable factors ( Knoth, 2003 ).



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