Effect of dielectric material on microwave freeze drying of skim milk

Wei Wang, Guohua Chen, Furong Gao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


A simultaneous heat and mass transfer model of the dielectric material-assisted microwave freeze drying was derived in this study considering the vapor sublimation-desublimation in the frozen region. The mathematical model was solved numerically by using the finite-difference technique with two moving boundaries. Silicon carbide (SiC) was selected as the dielectric material, and the skim milk was used as the representative solid material in the aqueous solution to be freeze-dried. The results show that the dielectric material can significantly enhance the microwave freeze drying process. The drying time is greatly reduced compared to cases without the aid of the dielectric material. Profiles of the temperature, ice saturation, vapor concentration, and pressure during freeze drying were presented. Mechanisms of the heat and mass transfer inside the material sphere were analyzed. For an initially unsaturated frozen sample of 16 mm in diameter with a 4-mm-diameter dielectric material core, the drying time is 288.2 min, much shorter than 380.1 min of ordinary microwave freeze drying and 455.0 min of conventional vacuum freeze drying, respectively, under typical operating conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-340
Number of pages24
JournalDrying Technology
Issue number1-2 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Heat and mass transfer
  • Model
  • Moving boundary
  • Sublimation front

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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