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Study of drying stage in polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) production chain from sugarcane

Grant number: 06/06268-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2007
Effective date (End): March 24, 2008
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Industrial Operations and Equipment for Chemical Engineering
Principal researcher:Sandra Cristina dos Santos Rocha
Grantee:Nádia Rosa Pereira
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The main objective of this proposition are the investigation of the drying process of the biopolymer poly-hydroxybutirate (PHB), by the combination of two complementary drying methods, fluidized bed and microwave convective drying, and the analysis of the effects of drying product final characteristics. The PHB is a thermoplastic and a biodegradable material (its degradation time is considerable lower than the synthetic polymers ones) and its production is integrated to the sugar/alcohol productive chain form sugar cane. By those properties and the focus on the environment preservation, this product has been attracting the technological, scientific and commercial interests. Drying is the last step in the PHB productive chain and the processing conditions may affect its physical and structural characteristics. However, lots of scientific papers can be found in the literature about the PHB production, except about the drying process in spite of the importance of this operation. Some initial tests have showed that the PHB drying kinetics presented a slight constant drying rate period and two distinct decreasing drying rate periods. Therefore, this research proposes the drying analysis using two types of dryers: fluidized bed dryer applied during the initial stage of drying and microwave convective dryer during the last stage of the process. Thought, the drying analysis, as much as its influence on the final product quality, may bring relevant contributions for the dissemination of scientific knowledge of the physical and structural characteristics behavior of PHB submitted to the drying process at different conditions. These knowledge may improve the PHB production, as well as can helps the understanding of the PHB behavior during its subsequent applications.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PEREIRA, N. R.; GODOI, F. C.; ROCHA, S. C. S. Drying of Starch Suspension in Spouted Bed with Inert Particles: Physical and Thermal Analysis of Product. Drying Technology, v. 28, n. 11, p. 1288-1296, 2010. Web of Science Citations: 20.

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