Dehydration of microalgae Spirulina platensis in a rotary drum with inert bed

Rodolfo Brandao
Federal University of Uberlandia, Brazil
Chemical Engineering
Marcos Barrozo

Among the various species of microalgae, Spirulina platensis has recently attracted attention from food and pharmaceutical industries due to its high contents of protein and bioactive compounds. Due to its high moisture content, a major challenge in the use of this microalga is its perishability.

In this work, we investigated the use of a non-conventional rotary dryer (with an inert bed) for drying microalga Spirulina platensis. We quantified the effects of air temperature, feed rate, rotation speed, and filling degree of the inert particles on process performance.

We then performed an optimization study using the Differential Evolution algorithm to identify the operating conditions that maximize process yield. We also performed a DEM simulation to gain a better understanding of the fluid dynamics. The results prove that this non-conventional system offers an interesting alternative for expanding use of this biomass, when performed under appropriate operating conditions.


N. C. Silva, M. V. C. Machado, R. J. Brandao, C. R. Duarte, M. A. S. Barrozo (2019) Dehydration of microalgae Spirulina platensis in a rotary drum with inert bed. Powder Technology, vol 351

EDEM software proved to be an important tool in the analysis of the collisions within the rotatory drum, resulting in a better understanding of the phenomena involved.

Rodolfo Brandao Federal University of Uberlandia