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Solving a Two-Scale Model for Vacuum Drying by Using COMSOL Multiphysics

S. Sandoval Torres1
1Instituto Politécnico Nacional, CIIDIR, Oaxaca, Mexico

Mass flux during vacuum drying.

Drying of porous materials is characterized by the invasion of a gaseous phase replacing the evaporating liquid phase. Vacuum drying is an advanced method applied to oakwood to diminish discoloration, so understand its physics is a very important task.
In this work, a two-scale model is solved to simulate vacuum drying of oakwood. A two scale model describes the physics of wood-water relations and interactions with the vacuum dryer. Results provided important information about liquid and gas phase transport in wood. Water vapor and dry-air dynamics in the chamber were simulated linking large scale (dryer) and macroscale (wood) changes. We analyses results at 60–100 bar and 250–300 mbar both at 70°C. The physics-based one-dimensional model was solved by using the COMSOL’s coefficient form and the global equations tool in COMSOL. The numerical results and experimental measures provide some confidence in the proposed model.

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