How Does the Process of Spray Drying Work?

How Spray Dryers Work

PacMoore Spray Drying Powder

You may already know a little bit about what spray drying is and how it works, but there are so many facets to this complex process. What are the stages of spray drying? What kind of equipment can we use for product development and pilot trials? You might know that the spray drying process involves turning liquid into various forms of powder, but read on to have your other questions answered as well.

Anatomy of a Spray Dryer

PacMoore Spray Dryer Automated CIP SystemMany different types of spray dryers exist, each with different features for meeting various spray drying needs. Spray dryers are used for food products (i.e. starch, rice protein, corn syrup, molasses, honey, dairy), chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. The basic parts of a spray dryer include: feed pump, atomizer or spray nozzles, air heater, air disperser, drying chamber, powder recovery systems, and process control systems.

The Stages of Spray Drying

The spray drying process begins with atomization.  This is where a nozzle or rotary atomizer turns the liquid feed stock into small liquid droplets. Here many of the desired qualities for the final product such as particle size and viscosity are developed.

The drying process is next.  After the droplets exit the nozzles or atomizer, they need to be dried to form a powder that can be easily packed and transported.  Drying of the powder is commonly accomplished using air that has been heated with natural gas.  Final moisture of the powder is controlled by fine-tuning the temperature of that hot air.

The recovery process is last and takes just a few seconds to recover the powder from the exhaust gas, by way of a bag filter or cyclone.

Why Choose PacMoore

PacMoore Spray Dryer Reaction Liquid Blending TanksAt PacMoore, we have the spray drying equipment and expertise you need, as well as a strong commitment to quality. PacMoore offers a small-scale pilot dryer and a full-size dryer at the same site that can be used to conduct trials and make a variety of different products.  PacMoore has prided itself on taking on difficult applications and perfecting the process to satisfy customer needs.

PacMoore offers a small-scale pilot spray dryer, the Niro Fluidized Spray Dryer (FSD™) 4.0. It has an evaporative load of 50 to 100 pounds per hour.  This is the dryer used for a pilot trial before full scale processing. Another option for product development is to work with Purdue University and access their excellent bench top spray dryer. If it’s full scale spray drying you need, PacMoore offers a GEA spray dryer with up to 3,000 pounds per hour water evaporation at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Learn more about our spray dryers’ technical specifications here.

PacMoore’s three key locations combined provide contract manufacturing solutions in spray drying, extrusion, blending, bulk options, re-packaging, consumer packaging, toll and turnkey processing.

Submit your project details on our contact page today to find how we can help you! 

Download Spray Drying Guide

This blog has been revised and updated on 6/28/16 and 8/1/18 after its original publish date of 8/27/2012.

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