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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Dawson, Georgia » National Peanut Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328276

Research Project: Postharvest Systems to Assess and Preserve Peanut Quality and Safety

Location: National Peanut Research Laboratory

Title: Capacitance Sensors for Nondestructive Moisture Determination in Agricultural and Bio-fuel materials

item Kandala, Chari
item Settaluri, Vijayasaradhi - New Mexico State University
item Puppala, Naveen - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: ASABE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/18/2016
Publication Date: 4/9/2016
Citation: Kandala, C., Settaluri, V., Puppala, N. 2016. Capacitance Sensors for Nondestructive Moisture Determination in Agricultural and Bio-fuel materials. ASABE Annual International Meeting.

Interpretive Summary: None required. dr

Technical Abstract: Moisture content of wood chips, pellets, switch grass powders, and similar organic bio-fuel materials is an important property to be known to determine their utility and energy efficiency at various stages of their processing and storage. Several moisture measuring instruments are available in the market but for most of these instruments some sort of sample preparation is needed that involves sizing, grinding and weighing. The samples in this process are usually destroyed, and the measurement involves considerable time and labor. The oven drying and Karl-Fisher methods also fall in the destructive and laborious category. In this work, estimating moisture content (MC) of single pine chips used as bio-fuel materials, from the measurement of certain electrical properties of a parallel-plate capacitor holding samples of these materials between them at radio frequencies is presented. The MC range of the pine chips tested was between 8% and 50%. The predictability was good with an R² value of 0.99. The applicability of the method to determine MC of these products in their powder form was also presented. The construction and performance of a prototype instrument working on these principles is described.