A HIGH EFFICIENCY RADIO-FREQUENCY VACUUM DRYER

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Agriculture
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$200,000.00
Award Year:
1994
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
20923
Agency Tracking Number:
20923
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
631 Sylvan Ct, Batavia, IL, 60510
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Dr Thomas L Owens
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
WE PROPOSE THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW RADIO-FREQUENCY VACUUM DRYER THAT UTILIZES AN OVERMODED RESONANT CAVITY TO COUPLE POWER TO WOOD. THE DEVICE WILL BE MUCH MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT THAN CAPACITOR-PLATE DEVICES THAT ARE CURRENTLY IN USE. THE INCREASE IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY COMPARED TO CAPACITOR-PLATE DEVICES IS GREAT ENOUGH THAT THE INITIAL COST OF OUR PROPOSED DRYER WILL BE RECOVERED IN JUST A FEW YEARS DUE TO THE SAVINGS IN ELECTRIC POWER CONSUMPTION. BASED UPON RESEARCH RESULTS, WOOD QUALITY RESULTING FROM RADIO-FREQUENCY VACUUM DRYING IS EQUAL TO THE QUALITY OF WOOD DRIED BY CONVENTIONAL TECHNIQUES, EXCEPT THAT DRYING OCCURS MORE THAN 17 TIMES FASTER. SINCE CONVENTIONAL DRYING IS A SLOW PROCESS, SUBSTANTIAL REVENUES ARE LOST DUE TO LARGE INVENTORIES OF WOOD THAT ARE TIED UP DURING PROCESSING. THIS MONETARY LOSS CAN BE AVOIDED USING RAPID RADIO-FREQUENCY VACUUM DRYING, MAKING THE PROCESS COMPETITIVE WITH CONVENTIONAL TECHNIQUES. SINCE MOST OF THE COST OF PROCESSING WOOD IS INCURRED IN THE DRYING PROCESS, AND BECAUSE A TREMENDOUS VOLUME OF WOOD IS PROCESSED WORLDWIDE THE ECONOMIC GAINS OF A HIGH-SPEED, ENERGY-EFFICIENT WOOD DRYER WOULD BE ENORMOUS.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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