Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Chemical Engineering

Major Professor

Gilbert, Richard A.


Vibrating fluidized bed, Dried citrus pulp, Fluidized bed, Animal feed, Citrus byproducts


Approximately 44% of the citrus that is processed becomes processing residue. The residue consists of the non-juice components of a citrus fruit, primarily peel and pulp, and is recovered by conversion to animal feed. The material is hygroscopic, agglomerating, has a wide particle size distribution, and must be carefully dried to avoid thermal damage to nutrients and flavors. This dissertation evaluates the possibility of utilizing a vibrofluidized bed dryer for citrus processing residue. Results demonstrate that it is possible to overcome the agglomeration difficulties associated with this material, offering an economically viable alternative processing methodology. To properly analyze this proposed system, a benchtop vibrofluidized bed dryer was designed, constructed and instrumented. Vibrofluidization and batch drying trials were conducted and analyzed. An economic evaluation of the proposed process was undertaken.

Two mathematical models of the drying process were developed and validated. Characteristics that describe the vibrofluidized bed drying of the residue were determined. The conditions that facilitated fluidization were: 1) A particle size distribution of the dried residue that was lognormal, had a geometric mean diameter, dgw, of 3.829 mm, and a geometric standard deviation, Sgw, of 2.49x10-07 mm. 2) A vibrational acceleration, Aw2/g, of 2.54. 3) A minimum vibrofluidization velocity, Umvf, of 4.2 cm/s. The controlling mechanism of the falling rate period was determined to be diffusion, with an effective diffusion coefficient, Deff, of 2.85x10-5 cm/s, and critical moisture content, Mc, of 30%. Economic evaluation of the proposed method has a payback period of 4.34 years, and an estimated processing cost of $33 per ton of dried material. Models were developed based on bed hydrodynamics and three-phase drying kinetics, and thin-layer drying.