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What is spray drying?
The method of spray drying or also atomization drying with the aid of a hot gas stream is used in process engineering to dry emulsions, solutions or suspensions. The result is a fine powder with particle sizes between 5 and 500 my.
Which parameters play a role in spray drying?
In spray drying, complex interactions occur between the liquid starting product to be dried and the heated air in the heating gas stream. To influence the structure and size of the particles, for example, equipment parameters such as the amount and temperature of the air, the flow rate of the liquid, and various parameters of the liquid can be changed.
Fields of application of spray drying
Spray drying is a frequently used process in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries and is also particularly suitable for sensitive substances such as vitamins or essential oils, as well as for detergent powders or even ceramic powders. In addition, there are numerous other areas of application for spray drying.
Spray drying for food
The principle of spray drying is frequently used in the processing of foodstuffs. For example, spray drying is a proven production method for drying milk to produce powdered milk or coffee or coffee powder for instant coffee.
With the aid of a nozzle, the bulk material to be dried is introduced into a hot air stream in the spray drying system, which dries it to a fine powder in fractions of a second. This powder consists of hollow spheres with a large specific surface area, which ensure good solubility for certain products.
Special spray dryers allow production by means of circulating gas and inertization, and have external dryers for post-drying and additional adjustment of the final moisture content. This process is always suitable when sensitive products in the food or chemical industry, such as vitamins, hormones, proteins and essential oils, have to be processed. All powders produced in this way form tiny hollow spheres (20-200 nm) with a large specific surface area. The dried product has very good solubility after spray drying.
Would you like to learn more? Various videos on the spray drying method can also be found on YouTube.
Advantages of spray drying
Outstanding advantages of spray drying are the very fast drying in fractions of a second and the possibility to dry even temperature-sensitive substances such as proteins or peptides.
The powders produced in the course of the process have a large surface area, which ensures rapid dissolution: This is of great importance, for example, in the production of pharmaceuticals.
Another advantage is the scalability of the process – from laboratory situations to large industrial scales.
Disadvantages of spray drying
The disadvantages of spray drying are mainly to be found in the comparatively high initial costs of the technical equipment; in addition, this often requires a lot of space, especially in industrial applications. However, these disadvantages can be circumvented by outsourcing the service to competent service providers in the field of contract manufacturing.
Spray drying for product recovery
Saving energy and costs: When spray-drying food products, the finest dust particles produced during atomization can be filtered and recovered by using innovative filter systems.
Such smart filtering processes achieve interesting savings potentials through the associated recovery of material and energy, reduce operating costs and thus contribute to a faster amortization of the plant.
Spray drying in contract manufacturing
When considering whether or not a company should buy a spray dryer, spray drying as a job shop can be a sensible alternative from an economic point of view. The way of spray drying in the context of outsourcing offers advantages such as certified quality, state-of-the-art technology or demand-oriented production.
Ebbecke Verfahrenstechnik AG offers you various services in the field of contract manufacturing and specializes, among other things, in the drying of powders and granulates. In addition, we will be pleased to work out individual processes for drying your products.
We are looking forward to your inquiry!
Surface structure Agglomerate (source: Wikipedia)
Tablets and capsules processed by spray drying
Food powder processed by spray drying
Hormones processed by spray drying in tablet form
Beverage powder processed by spray drying
Milk powder processed by spray drying
Protein powder processed by spray drying
Coffee powder processed by spray drying
Vitamins processed by spray drying in capsules