The inverse problem of using temperature measurements to estimate the moisture content and temperature-dependent moisture diffusivity together with the heat and mass transfer coefficients is analyzed in this paper. In the convective drying practice, usually the mass transfer Biot number is very high and the heat transfer Biot number is very small. This leads to a very small temperature sensitivity coefficient with respect to the mass transfer coefficient when compared to the temperature sensitivity coefficient with respect to the heat transfer coefficient. Under these conditions the relative error of the estimated mass transfer coefficient is high. To overcome this problem, in this paper the mass transfer coefficient is related to the heat transfer coefficient through the analogy between the heat and mass transfer processes in the boundary layer. The resulting parameter estimation problem is then solved by using a hybrid constrained optimization algorithm OPTRAN.

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