Model development for sc-drying kinetics of aerogels: Part 2. Packed bed of spherical particles
We apply here the previously developed mass transfer model (Part 1) for drying of aerogel monoliths to the supercritical drying of particles in a packed bed. We analyzed the influence of the operating conditions, flow rate, particle and autoclave size on the drying time and consumption of carbon dioxide. Although the model requires certain improvement to quantitatively predict the experimental drying kinetics, it captures all features of the supercritical drying: (i) transition of the limiting mass transfer step between diffusion in the gel and convection in the bulk fluid; (ii) role of CO 2 density as natural variable for analysis of the CO 2 consumption; (iii) influence of the autoclave dimensions on the drying process. We suggest a unified approach towards the analysis of drying process based on a dimensionless number. Practical recommendations on the rational selection of process parameters to achieve appropriate combinations of drying time and CO 2 consumption are formulated. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.