Process Optimization of Dryers/Tenters in the Textile Industry
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Textile dyeing and finishing industry uses dryers/tenters for drying and heat-setting fabrics. A very large fraction of the heating value of the fuel consumed in the burner ends up as waste in the dryer exhaust. An initial calculation showed that up to 90% of the energy consumed in the tenter is wasted. Therefore, quantifying the energy waste and determining drying characteristics are vitally important to optimizing the tenter and dryer operations. This research developed a portable off-line gas chromatography-based characterization system to assess the excess energy consumption. For low-demanding heat-setting situations, energy savings can be realized quickly. On the other hand, there are demanding situations where fabric drying represents the production bottleneck. The drying rate may be governed either by the rate of heat transport or by the rate of moisture transport. A mathematical model is being developed that incorporates both these processes. The model parameters are being obtained from bench-scale dryer studies in the laboratories. The model will be validated using production scale data. This will enable one to predict optimization dryer operation strategies.