Spray drying

Spray drying

Spray drying is a commonly used method of drying a liquid feed through a hot gas. Typically, this hot gas is air but sensitive materials such as pharmaceuticals, and solvents like ethanol require oxygen-free drying and nitrogen gas is used instead. The liquid feed varies depending on the material being dried and is not limited to food or pharmaceutical products, and may be a solution, colloid or suspension. This process of drying is a one step rapid process and eliminates additional processing.

The liquid feed is pumped through an atomiser device that produces fine droplets into the main drying chamber. Atomisers vary with rotary, single fluid, two-fluid, and ultra-sonic designs. These different styles have different advantages and disadvantages depending on the application of the spray drying required. In some instances a Spray Nozzle is used in place of an atomiser for a different dispersion rate.

The hot drying gas can be passed as a co-current or counter-current flow to the atomiser direction. The co-current flow enables the particles to have a lower residence time within the system and the particle separator (typically a cyclone device) operates more efficiently. The counter-current flow method enables a greater residence time of the particles in the chamber and usually is paired with a fluidised bed system.

Spray drying often is used as an encapsulation technique by the food and pharmaceutical industries. A substance to be encapsulated (the load) and an amphipathic carrier (usually some sort of modified starch) are homogenized as a suspension in water (the slurry). The slurry is then fed into a spray drier, usually a tower heated to temperatures well over the boiling point of water.

As the slurry enters the tower, it is atomized. Partly because of the high surface tension of water and partly because of the hydrophobic/hydrophilic interactions between the amphipathic carrier, the water, and the load, the atomized slurry forms micelles. The small size of the drops (averaging 100 micrometers in diameter) results in a relatively large surface area which dries quickly. As the water dries, the carrier forms a hardened shell around the load.

Load loss is usually a function of molecular weight. That is, lighter molecules tend to boil off in larger quantities at the processing temperatures. Loss is minimized industrially by spraying into taller towers. A larger volume of air has a lower average humidity as the process proceeds. By the osmosis principle, water will be encouraged by its difference in fugacities in the vapor and liquid phases to leave the micelles and enter the air. Therefore, the same percentage of water can be dried out of the particles at lower temperatures if larger towers are used. Alternatively, the slurry can be sprayed into a partial vacuum. Since the boiling point of a solvent is the temperature at which the vapor pressure of the solvent is equal to the ambient pressure, reducing pressure in the tower has the effect of lowering the boiling point of the solvent.

The application of the spray drying encapsulation technique is to prepare "dehydrated" powders of substances which do not have any water to dehydrate. For example, instant drink mixes are spray dries of the various chemicals which make up the beverage. The technique was once used to remove water from food products; for instance, in the preparation of dehydrated milk. Because the milk was not being encapsulated and because spray drying causes thermal degradation, milk dehydration and similar processes have been replaced by other dehydration techniques. Skim milk powders are still widely produced using spray drying technology around the world, typically at high solids concentration for maximum drying efficiency. Thermal degradation of products can be overcome by using lower operating temperatures and larger chamber sizes for increased residence times.

Recent research is now suggesting that the use of spray-drying techniques may be an alternative method for crystallisation of amorphous powders during the drying process since the temperature effects on the amorphous powders may be significant depending on drying residence times.

pray dryer

A spray dryer is a device used in spray drying. It takes a liquid stream and separates the solute or suspension as a solid and the solvent into a vapor. The solid is usually collected in a drum or cyclone. The liquid input stream is sprayed through a nozzle into a hot vapor stream and vaporised. Solids form as moisture quickly leaves the droplets. A nozzle is usually used to make the droplets as small as possible, maximising heat transfer and the rate of water vaporisation. Droplet sizes can range from 20 μm to 180 μm depending on the nozzle.

Spray dryers can dry a product very quickly compared to other methods of drying. They also turn a solution, or slurry into a dried powder in a single step, which can be advantageous for profit maximization and process simplification.

pray drying applications

[http://www.buchi.com/Spray-Dryer-Application-Finder.10559.0.html Spray Dryer Application Database]


* cite web | url=http://www.buchi.com/Spray-Drying.69.0.html?&no_cache=1&file=308&uid=2283
title=Training Paper Spray Drying - Büchi Labortechnik AG, Switzerland

* cite web | url=http://www.buchi.com/Spray-Drying.69.0.html?&no_cache=1&file=123&uid=2283
title=Brochure - Mini Spray Dryer B-290

* Chiou, D., Langrish. T.A.G., Braham, R. (2008) The Effect of Temperature on the Crystallinity of Lactose Powders Produced by Spray Drying, Journal of Food Engineering, 86(2), 288-293.
* Chiou, D., Langrish, T.A.G., Braham, R. (2008) Partial Crystallisation Behaviour During Spray Drying: Simulations and Experiments, Drying Technology, 26(1), 27- 38.
* Chiou, D., Langrish, T.A.G. (2007) Crystallisation of Amorphous Components in Spray-Dried Powders, Drying Technology, 25(9), 1423-1431.
* "Nutritional evaluation of food processing" second edition (1975), Robert S. Harris, Ph.D. and Endel Karmas Ph.D. (eds)
* Keey, R.B., (1992). Drying of Loose and Particulate Materials, 1st, (pp504). Hemisphere Publishing Corporation,

External links

* cite web
title=GBM&Co. Conventional Spray Dryer with Fluid Bed - Interactive animation

* cite web
title=Büchi Labortechnik AG - Mini Spray Dryer B-290

* cite web
title=Anderson Custom Processing

* cite web
title=Sono-Tek, Ultrasonic Spray Technology, A World Leader in Spray Drying Accessories

* cite web
title=Marriott Walker Corporation, A World Leader in Spray Drying Technology

* cite web
title=Niro's expertise in spray drying

* cite web
title=Short overview on spray drying from Japanese manufacturer

* cite web
title=Spray drying on Hyfoma.com

* cite web
title=General Spray Drying Services in New Jersey

* cite web
title=GEA Niro A/S - Authoritative article on Spray Drying

* cite web
title=technalysis.us - CAE spray dryin

* cite web
title=Delavan spray drying technologies

* cite web
title=Delavan's technical know how on spray drying

* cite web
title= Lübbers - Innovative expert in Spray Drying

* cite web
title=Anhydro A/S - Leading Experts in Spray Drying

* cite web
title=Dietrich's Specialty Processing, LLC

* cite web
title=Multi Stage Spray Dryer

ee also

* Spray Nozzle

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