AbstractThe main goal of this research was to establish the energy balance from the drying of oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB), pineapple plant leaves (PL), and sawdust from Gmelina arborea (GAD). Three drying techniques (air, solar, and hot air drying) were tested. The initial moisture content (MCi), drying time, moisture content (MC) variation with time, transformation energy, transportation and drying energy, drying critical point, and the energy balance were measured. MCi was higher for PL (over 79%), followed by EFB (over 47%), and GAD (under 47%). Drying time varied from 27 to 342 hours depending on the technique used. PL presented the longest drying time, followed by GAD, and finally EFB. The transformation energy input was only applied to PL, and the values ranged from 0.041 to 0.09 kWh/kg. Energy used for transportation ranged from 0.051 to 0.090 kWh/kg. Energy consumption ranged from 0.20 to 1.90 kWh/kg, and its mathematical model regarding MC was β1MC3+β2MC2+β3MC+β4 (polynomial) or β1ln (MC) +β2 (logarithmic). A critical value of MC was found, where an inflection of energy consumption occurs during the drying process for all residues. The critical MC for GAD was 10%. For EFB it varied from 11 to 13%. For PL it varied from 4% to 13%. The best energy balance was obtained for GAD and EFB (4.0 to 4.5 kWh/kg) when MC was less than 10%. The best energy balance for PL was obtained when MC varied from 30 to 40%.