Electrohydrodynamics for non-thermal, low-energy dehydration of soft, heat-sensitive materials
Type. Bilateral project with Migros Genossenschafts-Bund
Funding. This project is funded by the ETH Foundation (sponsored by Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund via World Food System Center)
Duration. 3 years (2019-2022)
Contact. Thijs Defraeye (principal investigator)
The principle behind electrohydrodynamic (EHD) drying is that airflow (so-called ionic wind) is generated by means of corona discharge. This ionic wind enhances heat and mass transfer from any wet material that is placed in this airflow field. As electrohydrodynamic drying is a non-thermal technology, it is particularly attractive to dehydrate heat-sensitive products, such as plant-based foods (e.g. fruits and vegetables). Compared to conventional convective drying, it has been reported to reduce drying time, reduce product shrinkage, increase rehydration capacity, improve (soften) texture, and preserve color and flavor better. It is also found to preserve better nutritional content (e.g. vitamin C). The main aim of this project is to design a sustainable drying process that can deliver affordable, appealing, and nutritious dried food. We will approach this aim by using all the three scientific tools namely, multiphysics modeling and simulation, experimental testing on an EHD dryer setup, and theoretical analysis.
- Iranshahi K., Martynenko A., Defraeye T. (2020), Cutting-down the energy consumption of electrohydrodynamic drying by optimization mesh collector electrode, Energy, 118168. DOI
- Iranshahi K., Onwude D.I., Martynenko A., Defraeye T. (2021), Dehydration mechanisms in electrohydrodynamic drying of plant-based foods, Food and Bioproducts Processing. DOI