Energy Recovery Dehumidification (ERDH) for energy efficient increased drying capacity of high quality sea vegetables

Principal Investigator: Peter Van Walsum (Chemical & Biological Engineering/FBRI, UMaine)

Partners: Balunkeswar Nayak (Food Science and Nutrition, UMaine); John Belding (Advanced Manufacturing Center, UMaine); Daniel Martinez (Environmental Science, USM)

Abstract: Seaweed aquaculture is a global activity with an annual worth of $5.65 billion. We propose to investigate Energy Recovery DeHumidification (ERDH) as a highly energy efficient means for the drying of seaweed and other sea vegetables at moderate temperature, which is necessary to preserve the valuable antioxidant properties of the product. Development of inexpensive and effective methods for drying sea vegetables will help to develop this nascent industry in Maine and increase the supply of healthful and sustainable food.