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What is a desiccator?
A desiccator is a device used to control the humidity of the air. It consists of a container and a layer of absorbent called a sorbent. The container is vacuum sealed and usually contains silica gel or calcium chloride as the absorbent.
Storing solids under vacuum and above a desiccant stored in the bottom, such as calcium chloride, has the effect of removing water or volatile solvents so that the yield can subsequently be determined correctly or to avoid contamination in subsequent analytical studies.
Applications of desiccators
Desiccators are often used as part of a process engineering concept to remove liquids from gas streams. However, they can also be used in the removal of water from organic solvents or in the removal of water vapor from air or other gases. They can also be used to remove moisture from a wide variety of substances – for example, in the pharmaceutical and food industries – and to ensure the purity and integrity of reagents.
Desiccators are particularly useful when it comes to improving the quality of a product and reducing process costs. For example, using a desiccator can help a product dry faster, which can simplify the cleaning process and ultimately save money.
The use of a desiccator is also beneficial in food processing. Its use can improve drying results while reducing the time required for the drying process.
How does a desiccator work?
The primary purpose of a desiccator is to maintain the relative humidity inside it at a certain level – usually below 10-15% relative humidity – by absorbing and binding the air. Most desiccators accomplish this by using adsorbents such as silica gel or calcium chloride, which help absorb excess moisture and hold it to the surface of the sorbent. In this way, a stable relative humidity can be maintained inside the unit, allowing sensitive products or materials to remain protected.
What types of desiccators are available?
Desiccators come in different size variants – from handy models for the work table to large-sized station specimens with capacities of several liters – but fundamentally all models differ in their construction as well as the adsorbent used (silica gel or calcium chloride).
When working with a desiccator, several points should always be considered:
Application of desiccators at Ebbecke Verfahrenstechnik
A desiccator is a chemical laboratory device which we at Ebbecke in Bruchköbel use mainly for drying solid chemical substances. We would be happy to provide you with detailed information on further details, advantages and possible applications.
Das Glas im chemischen Laboratorium / J. Friedrichs, F. Friedrichs / 2013
Schematic illustration of a desiccator