Modelling simultaneous heat and mass transfer in wood

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Virginia Tech


The fundamental and quantitative study of heat and mass transfer processes in wood plays an important role for understanding many important production processes, such as wood drying and hot-pressing. It will help us improve the existing products and production techniques and develop new manufacturing technology. The most difficult aspect of the study is the complicated interactions of heat and mass transfer mechanisms. Extensive characterization of these physical processes using a strictly experimental approach is extremely difficult because of the excessively large number of variables that must be considered. However, mathematical modeling and numerical techniques serve as a powerful tool to help us understand the complicated physical processes.

The goal of this research is to model the simultaneous heat and mass transfer in wood. The specific objectives of this research are:

  1. develop a computer simulation program, implementing an existing one-dimensional mathematical drying model, using a finite difference approach, to numerically evaluate the mathematical model.

  2. study sensitivity of the heat and mass transfer model to determine the effects of wood physical properties and environmental conditions on the drying processes.