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Computational Study of Anaerobiosis Acceleration in Hermetic Storage of Maize using Oxygen Depletion

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  076173.(doi:10.13031/2013.23509)
Authors:   Juliana Lobo Paes, Marcio Arêdes Martins, Lêda Rita D'Antonino Faroni
Keywords:   silobag, hermetic storage, numerical model, oxygen depletory

Hermetic storage of grains has been used to control the infestation of pests and to preserve grain quality. The anaerobiosis process occurs when the oxygen concentration tends to zero due to grain respiration. The silobag is a flexible hermetic storage system of strategic importance in Brazil. Besides its flexibility, holes and similar accidental damages may occur and compromising the modified atmosphere. Low oxygen concentration may be achieved and maintained using oxygen depletor devices. These devices can be disposed at the bottom of the silobag in several positions along its axial direction. A computational study is presented to verify the viability of an oxygen depletor to accelerate the anaerobiosis of the grain mass of maize. The mathematical model considers both oxygen diffusion flux and its consumption rate due to respiration in unsteady state. The numerical model was implemented using the finite volume method in body fitted coordinates. Oxygen concentration as a function of time and position was obtained by simulation and the anaerobiosis time was verified to be faster when oxygen depletor was used. The computation model can be as a tool to design the optimal distribution of oxygen depletor devices into the silobag and to calculate the anaerobiosis time.

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