# Exponential integrators and a dual-scale model for wood drying

Carr, Elliot Joseph (2012) Exponential integrators and a dual-scale model for wood drying. PhD by Publication, Queensland University of Technology.

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## Abstract

For the timber industry, the ability to simulate the drying of wood is invaluable for manufacturing high quality wood products. Mathematically, however, modelling the drying of a wet porous material, such as wood, is a diffcult task due to its heterogeneous and anisotropic nature, and the complex geometry of the underlying pore structure. The well{ developed macroscopic modelling approach involves writing down classical conservation equations at a length scale where physical quantities (e.g., porosity) can be interpreted as averaged values over a small volume (typically containing hundreds or thousands of pores). This averaging procedure produces balance equations that resemble those of a continuum with the exception that effective coeffcients appear in their deffnitions.

Exponential integrators are numerical schemes for initial value problems involving a system of ordinary differential equations. These methods differ from popular Newton{Krylov implicit methods (i.e., those based on the backward differentiation formulae (BDF)) in that they do not require the solution of a system of nonlinear equations at each time step but rather they require computation of matrix{vector products involving the exponential of the Jacobian matrix. Although originally appearing in the 1960s, exponential integrators have recently experienced a resurgence in interest due to a greater undertaking of research in Krylov subspace methods for matrix function approximation. One of the simplest examples of an exponential integrator is the exponential Euler method (EEM), which requires, at each time step, approximation of φ(A)b, where φ(z) = (ez - 1)/z, A E Rnxn and b E Rn.

For drying in porous media, the most comprehensive macroscopic formulation is TransPore [Perre and Turner, Chem. Eng. J., 86: 117-131, 2002], which features three coupled, nonlinear partial differential equations. The focus of the first part of this thesis is the use of the exponential Euler method (EEM) for performing the time integration of the macroscopic set of equations featured in TransPore. In particular, a new variable{ stepsize algorithm for EEM is presented within a Krylov subspace framework, which allows control of the error during the integration process. The performance of the new algorithm highlights the great potential of exponential integrators not only for drying applications but across all disciplines of transport phenomena. For example, when applied to well{ known benchmark problems involving single{phase liquid ow in heterogeneous soils, the proposed algorithm requires half the number of function evaluations than that required for an equivalent (sophisticated) Newton{Krylov BDF implementation. Furthermore for all drying configurations tested, the new algorithm always produces, in less computational time, a solution of higher accuracy than the existing backward Euler module featured in TransPore.

Some new results relating to Krylov subspace approximation of '(A)b are also developed in this thesis. Most notably, an alternative derivation of the approximation error estimate of Hochbruck, Lubich and Selhofer [SIAM J. Sci. Comput., 19(5): 1552{1574, 1998] is provided, which reveals why it performs well in the error control procedure.

Two of the main drawbacks of the macroscopic approach outlined above include the effective coefficients must be supplied to the model, and it fails for some drying configurations, where typical dual{scale mechanisms occur. In the second part of this thesis, a new dual{scale approach for simulating wood drying is proposed that couples the porous medium (macroscale) with the underlying pore structure (microscale). The proposed model is applied to the convective drying of softwood at low temperatures and is valid in the so{called hygroscopic range, where hygroscopically held liquid water is present in the solid phase and water exits only as vapour in the pores. Coupling between scales is achieved by imposing the macroscopic gradient on the microscopic field using suitably defined periodic boundary conditions, which allows the macroscopic ux to be defined as an average of the microscopic ux over the unit cell. This formulation provides a first step for moving from the macroscopic formulation featured in TransPore to a comprehensive dual{scale formulation capable of addressing any drying configuration. Simulation results reported for a sample of spruce highlight the potential and flexibility of the new dual{scale approach. In particular, for a given unit cell configuration it is not necessary to supply the effective coefficients prior to each simulation.

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