Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science>2014>4>81-88
Bio-hydrogen (Bio-H2) production from the organic fraction of solid waste, as fruit and vegetable wastes, constitutes an interesting and feasible technology to obtain clean energy. In spite of the feasibility to produce Bio-H2 from fruit/vegetable wastes (FVW), data about its rheological characterization are scarce. This information is useful to establish the hydrodynamic behavior, which controls the overall mixing process when the feedstock for Bio-H2 production process is a mixture of FVW. In this work, the rheological behavior of a vegetable/fruit waste mixture was characterized. The effect of the solids content (%, w/w), temperature, time (tyxotropy effects) and shear rate over the apparent viscosity of the mixture was evaluated. Most of the mixtures showed non-Newtonian behavior. The curves are typical rheofluidizing fluids. The rheological curves were different at increasing solids contents (80%, 60%, 40% and 30%), independent from the temperature. Rheological data were fitted to the power law model. Correlation factors R2 for the different mixtures were 0.991-0.995 for 80%, 0.961 -0.986 for 60%, 0.890 -0.925 for 40%. In the case of 30% of solids, the R2 value was not acceptable, and it was also found that this mixture was very near to the Newtonian behavior. Calculated activation energies (Ea) values were 15.98, 14.89 and 20.96 kJ/mol for the 80%, 60%, 40% mixtures, respectively. FVW purees rheological behavior was well characterized by Carbopol solutions at given concentrations and pH values. This fluid can be used as a model for other studies, e.g. LDA (Laser Doppler Anemometry) and PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry).
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