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EXPERIMENT 1:

DETERMINATION OF MOISTURE CONTENT


OBJECTIVE:
To estimate the overall moisture content of the solid waste.
APPARATUS:
-oven
-analytical balance
-pre-weighed dish
SAMPLE:
-domestic waste (paper,garden trimming,tin cans, plastics and food waste)
INTRODUCTION:
A man or a woman ceases to generate waste only when he or she is in a state to be
disposed off as waste. Solid wastes are all the waste arising from human and animal
activities that are normally solid and are discarded as useless or unwanted. It
encompasses the heterogeneous mass of throwaways residence and commercial activities
as well as the more homogeneous accumulations of single industrial activities. They are
generated by almost every activities and the amount varies by source, season, geography
and time.The management and control of wastes at all stages of production, collection,
transportation, treatment and ultimate disposal is a relatively social imperative.
Moisture content is defined as the percentage of water in a product or object.
Moisture in some form and amount is found in almost everything and can have different
effects on the object. In some cases, moisture is good, but in others, it can cause
problems.The moisture content of solid waste is expressed as the mass of moisture per

unit mass of water or dry materials.The moisture content which results from oven drying
method depends on the type of foodstuff used. The determination of moisture in a
food is done for many purposes such assessment of quality, quality control,
quality assurance, detection and estimation of adulteration, conformity with food
standards and other statutory requirement, calculation of total food solids content,
assessment of stability, shelf life and storage life.The shelf life of the product
depends on water activity.
Moisture can be determined by using following methods,Thermal Drying
method; D r y i n g e i t h e r h o t a i r o v e n a t 1 0 5 C i n 2 - 3 h o u r s o r i n v a c u u m
ovens which is widely used for sugar based foods. The measurement
o f t h e w e i g h t l o s s w h i c h results due to the evaporation of H 2O at or near boiling
point is taken here. The loss in weight depend on the particle size, weight of the
sample used, type of the dish and temperature variation in the ovens.Next
is,chemical

assay.This

is

based

on

the

non-stoichiometric

reaction

of

water.Lastly,physical method.It involves physical and physicochemical reaction in food.


Oven dr ying method is widely used. The weight loss due to the
r e m o v a l o f w a t e r b y heating under specific conditions is considered here. The loss
of weight due to drying is considered as a measure of the moisture content of the sample.
PROCEDURE :
1. The sample waste was placed in pre-weighed dish by separating each type of wastes.
2. The sample/wet weight was weighed.
3. The sample was dried in an oven at 105C to a constant weight.
4. After cool at room temperature,the dry waste was weighed again.
5. The moisture content are calculated.
RESULTS :
Domestic Waste

Mass of pre-weighed dish + Mass of pre-weighed dish +


wet waste (g)

dry waste (g)

Paper
Garden Trimming
Tin Cans
Plastics
Food Waste

45.680
43.630
57.400
41.361
72.900

45.580
43.270
57.360
41.359
65.070

CALCULATIONS :
M=[( w - d ) / w] 100
M: moisture content (%)
w: initial weight (wet weight),g
d: weight of sample after drying at 105C,g
Domestic Waste
Paper

Moisture content (%)


[(45.680 - 45.580) / 45.680]

Garden Trimming

100 = 0.219
[(43.630 - 43.270) / 43.630]

Tin Cans

100 = 0.825
[(57.400 - 57.360) / 57.400]

Plastics

100 = 0.070
[(41.361 - 41.359) / 41.361]

Food Waste

100 = 0.0048
[(72.900 - 65.070) / 72.900]
100 = 10.741

DISCUSSION:
With oven drying, the sample is heated under specified conditions, and the loss of weight
is used to calculate the moisture content of the sample.Water is removed due to heating
at 105 C. Loss of weight due to vaporization of water is taken as weight of
moisture.In principle, the moisture content of a sample can therefore be determined
accurately by measuring the number or mass of water molecules present in a known mass

of sample. It is not possible to directly measure the number of water molecules present in
a sample because of the huge number of molecules involved. A number of analytical
techniques commonly used to determine the moisture content of sample are based on
determinations of the mass of water present in a known mass of sample.
The accuracy of results of moisture determination is affected by, drying
temperature,relative humidity, particle size of sample, handling method of sample,
amount of sample,type of evaporation dish, variation in temperature inside the
oven. To minimize these errors various precautions should be taken. The rate
and extent of moisture removal depends on the size and shape of the sample, and how
finely it is ground. The greater the surface area of material exposed to the environment,
the faster the rate of moisture removal.If the temperature of drying is too high, or the
drying is carried out for too long, there may be decomposition of some of the heatsensitive components. This will cause a change in the mass of the sample matrix and lead
to errors in the moisture content determination. It is therefore normally necessary to use a
compromise time and temperature, which are sufficient to remove most of the moisture,
but not too long to cause significant thermal decomposition of the sample matrix.
CONCLUSION :
From the experiment,it can be deduced that food waste has the highest moisture content
while plastics has the lowest moisture content.The overall moisture content for the solid
waste can be calculated.
REFERENCES :
http://people.umass.edu/~mcclemen/581Moisture.html
http://www.foodtechsource.com/rcenter/tech_data/td_moisture.htm
Bernetti, R., S. J. Pienkowski.1996. Determination of moisture in corn by the Karl Fischer
Method, Collaborative Study.Poster session,AOAC, Washington, DC. Method also

available as CRA Analytical Method A-13 Moisture (Karl Fischer) in Corn; revised
Nov.17,1992