Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Stephen P. Gent


This thesis is an experimental and computational investigation of the effects of thermal energy propagation, moisture removal rates, and drying capacity within a continuous cross-flow grain dryer. The effects of grain column thickness, air flow rate per volume of corn, and drying air temperature are investigated. In the first portion of this study, thermal profile data was collected from a pilot-scale cross-flow corn dryer on the campus of South Dakota State University. This dryer has a drying column height of 132 in., column width of 24 in. and a variable thickness of 8 in. to 12 in. An array of thermocouples was arranged through the packed bed of corn to measure the temperature profile as the air propagated through the corn. The experimental temperature profiles were compared and analyzed against other experiments. It was found that air flow rate per volume of corn is a primary factor in the drying rate of corn. The second portion of this study involves the development of a two dimensional numerical model that predicts several phenomenon within the grain column. These effects include: air and grain temperature, grain moisture content, and air humidity ratio. These parameters are based upon coupled partial differential equations of heat and mass transfer that describe the thermal propagation and moisture removal rates. The results of the numerical model are compared with the experimental results. The theoretical model can provide further insight for improving the design of grain drying.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Grain -- Drying.
Corn -- Drying.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted