Abstract :

The study of the thin-layer drying behavior of cow bone was carried out in a laboratory scale oven. The study considered the impact of the drying time, sample thickness, drying temperature, and interaction between time and temperature on the moisture ratio of the cow bone samples. Ten thin-layer drying models used in the study were fitted to the moisture ratio data. Among the drying models investigated, the Page model satisfactorily and best described the drying behavior of the cow bone. In addition, regression analyses of the results revealed that time and the interaction between time and temperature played significant roles in the moisture ratio of the bone samples, which agrees with the content of literature. Furthermore, on application of the optimization tool of the MATLAB program used, the minimum of constrained nonlinear multivariable functions gave the optimum values of drying temperature, drying time and slice thickness to be 120oC, 356mins and 10mm, respectively for the bone samples investigated. This optimization result is particularly important in the identification of the optimum drying conditions for the product sample in order to avoid unnecessary energy waste. This is because drying the sample at a higher temperature will surely consume more energy with little or no effect on its drying rate, thus increasing the level of environmental pollution; as higher energy consumption is tied to more fuel combustion. The outcome of this study is very essential to farmers in the processing of bone meal for plant nutrition.