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This study aims to develop a multipurpose mechanical dryer that uses rice hull and solar energy as power source. The mechanical dryer has two main parts: (1) the furnace/drying bin made of concrete that measures 1.0 meter (m) by 0.75 m by 0.6 m; and. (2) the extended dryer—measuring 1.0 m X 0.75 m X 1.0 m—is made of angle bars, GI sheets, and four layers of perforated screen for drying other crops. The furnace directly under the bin provides the heat when the relative humidity of the air is high.
Tests were done to check the effectiveness of the dryer in terms of capacity and drying performance (moisture content reduction rate, drying air temperature). The drying process was also compared to direct sun-drying practices.
Several trials indicated that palay, at an initial moisture content (MC) of 19 percent, can be dried to 13.3 percent and 9.3 percent in four hours, or at moisture reduction rates of 1.43 percent per hour and 2.25 percent per hour for the convertible multipurpose dryer (CMPD)-solar and CMPD-furnace, respectively. The mechanically dried samples were also comparable with the sun-dried samples in terms of milling recovery, and even had a head rice recovery. READ MORE..