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Abstract Bachelor Prohect FBT 2019-2020: Validation of the fast determination of the moisture content using the thermogravimetric method versus the official method

BACKGROUND: This project is about the validation of a thermogravimetric device to analyze the dry matter of different samples. Since the previous project, in 2018, was not finished and there was no conclusion formed, the project will be continued. This within a period of 13 to 15 weeks. The project is necessary to become a most ideal temperature for the device to test the different samples. There will not be a perfect fitting temperature for all the different samples but there can only be one temperature chosen for an easy way of working.

AIM: The main goal of this project is to validate and optimize the thermogravimetric device. There are different methods, samples, temperatures, … that are going to be measured. After all the necessarily data is collected the results will be graphically displayed and will be put in clearly arranged tables. Thereafter everything will be compared and a conclusion will be formed.

METHODS: There are eight samples of which three of them will be ½ diluted. This is because some specific products need to be diluted. Also, the diluted and undiluted products will be compared to each other to see if a dilution is still necessary. The samples are each of the fully completed product and an earlier phase from the process of production.

The first method is to put the samples in the drying oven for a specific time at a certain temperature and their weight will be measured before and after drying. The percentage of dry mass will be calculated by an integrated formula in an Excel file. In the thermogravimetric device, the second method, the drying percentage will be measured by five different temperatures and each of them with and without a glass fiber filter. All the samples will be measured in triple for a more trustworthy result. Thereafter the average will be taken of all the results and the results of both methods will be compared. The temperature that is the best for most of the samples will be chosen.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The samples need to be evenly spread in the middle of the aluminium plate for the best results. Make sure that the sample does not go to the edge of the aluminium plate. Also, the thermogravimetric device needs to be preheated. The first sample is not reliable because the device only heats up when the sample has started testing. The highest temperature that is used to analyze the samples with a filter is too high. The samples get a burned smell and there is crust formation. A lower temperature is recommended, but a lower temperature will result in a longer during analyze. The filter makes the duration of the analyse shorter so this will be compensated. This has a positive effect on the results: it takes less time to analyze the samples and the values are more equal. With the use of a filter a lower temperature is recommended. Without using a filter a higher temperature is better. And the last fact is that dilution makes the duration of the analyze shorter, so this can be continued.

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Evelien Libbrecht
Evelien.Libbrecht@alpro.com
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