The improvement of the design and operation of energy conversion systems is a theme of global concern. As an energy intensive operation, industrial agricultural product drying has also attracted significant attention in recent years. Taking a novel industrial corn drying system with drying capacity of 5.5 t/h as a study case, based on existing exergoeconomic and exergetic analysis methodology, the present work investigated the exergetic and economic performance of the drying system and identified its energy use deficiencies. The results showed that the average drying rate for corn drying in the system is 1.98 gwater
h. The average exergy rate for dehydrating the moisture from the corn kernel is 345.22 kW and the exergy efficiency of the drying chamber ranges from 14.81% to 40.10%. The average cost of producing 1 GJ exergy for removing water from wet corn kernels is USD 25.971, while the average cost of removing 1 kg water is USD 0.159. These results might help to further understand the drying process from the exergoeconomic perspective and aid formulation of a scientific index for agricultural product industrial drying. Additionally, the results also indicated that, from an energy perspective, the combustion chamber should be firstly optimized, while the drying chamber should be given priority from the exergoeconomics perspective. The main results would be helpful for further optimizing the drying process from both energetic and economic perspectives and provide new thinking about agricultural product industrial drying from the perspective of exergoeconomics.
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