Smart ventilation for safe and sustainable food storage

Most agricultural products are season-dependent. To overcome seasonality of the harvested products and to guarantee a continuous flow of food products to the consumers and of biomass, in general, to bio-based industries, storage of primary food products and biomass is crucial.
This study focuses on the understanding and design of optimal ventilation strategies for safe and sustainable storage of primary food products. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation is used to provide physical insight between the product quality and the climate numerically and via visualisation. The CFD model, including product quality processes, is spatially distributed and suitable for model-based quality control.

Highlight of the past year

A review article about modelling ventilated bulk storage of agro-materials has been published (Grubben & Keesman 2015). This includes a broad investigation on CFD simulations, used in food storage applications.

A complete 3-D CFD simulation model has been developed, including ventilators and moving hatches.

To calibrate and validate the spatially-distributed model of potatoes, data of a full scale test-storage facility is processed. One of the quality aspects of potatoes is the sugar content. For the validation of the sugar content in potatoes the sugar content is frequently measured with HPLC analyser.

Type of student projects envisioned

Related to the topic this project, several MSc projects can be defined. Detailed models of product specific processes are often absent, but needed for quality control. Modelling these processes can be conducted and implemented in CFD simulations.