Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Open Source Vacuum Oven for Low-Temperature Drying

Version 1 : Received: 21 April 2021 / Approved: 22 April 2021 / Online: 22 April 2021 (09:16:02 CEST)

How to cite: Hubbard, B.R.; Putman, L.I.; Techtmann, S.; Pearce, J.M. Open Source Vacuum Oven for Low-Temperature Drying. Preprints 2021, 2021040596 Hubbard, B.R.; Putman, L.I.; Techtmann, S.; Pearce, J.M. Open Source Vacuum Oven for Low-Temperature Drying. Preprints 2021, 2021040596

Abstract

Vacuum drying can dehydrate materials further than dry heat methods while protecting sensitive materials from thermal degradation. Many industries have shifted to vacuum drying as cost- or time-saving measures. Small-scale vacuum drying, however, has been limited by high costs of specialty scientific tools. To make vacuum drying more accessible, this study provides design and performance information for a small-scale open source vacuum oven, which can be fabricated from off-the-shelf and 3-D printed components. The oven is tested for drying speed and effective-ness on both waste plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and a consortium of bacteria developed for bioprocessing of terephthalate wastes to assist in distributed recycling of PET for both additive manufacturing as well as potential food. Both materials can be damaged when exposed to high temperatures, making vacuum drying a desirable solution. The results showed the open source vacuum oven was effective at drying both plastic and biomaterials, drying at a higher rate than a hot-air dryer for small samples or for low volumes of water. The system can be constructed for less than 20% of commercial vacuum dryer costs for several laboratory-scale applications including dehydration of bio-organisms, drying plastic for distributed recycling and additive manufacturing, and chemical processing.

Subject Areas

drying; materials processing; vacuum oven; small-scale; lab equipment; air-powered; open hard-ware; open source; digital manufacturing; dehydration

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