Industrial drying of pastes is normally done in spray dryers. The spouted bed may be an attractive alternative for small agricultural cooperatives by the following reasons: I) Simpler and less expensive design; II) Easier to operate; III) inert particles work as a protection against feeding system aging. In order to be competitive, the spouted bed must be operated at top feeding levels, close to the instability operating region. The feeding rate has significant influence on the spouted bed stability. Control systems may be employed to overcome this difficulty. The present proposal has the aim to develop a QDMC control system based on neural networks to control the operation of a spouted bed during paste drying.
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