CHAPTER TWO

CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF INDUSTRIAL DRYERS
Arun S. Mujumdar

1. INTRODUCTION
Dryer selection has long been practiced as an art rather than science depending more on prior experience and vendors’ recommendations. As drying technologies have evolved and become more diverse and complex, this has become an increasingly difficult and demanding task for the non-expert not conversant with the numerous types of equipment, their pros and cons, etc. Further, the task is exasperated by the need to meet stricter quality specifications, higher production rates, higher energy costs and stringent environmental regulations. In the absence of in-house experts in drying, there have been some attempts, albeit not fully successful, to develop expert systems for a non-expert to use. It is therefore necessary for an engineer responsible for selection of a dryer or, more appropriately, a drying system to be aware of what is available in the market, what the key criteria are in the selection process and thus arrive at alternative possibilities before going to vendors of such equipment for comparative quotes. It is time and effort well spent since the cost of incorrect selection can be very high. This chapter is intended to give an introduction to this subject; the reader is referred to Mujumdar (1995) for further details. Note that over 80 percent of major chemical companies in Europe – each using over 1000 dryers in their production facilities – made errors in selecting dryers in the past year alone. What is optimal choice in one location at one point in time may be a wrong choice for another geographic location some years later. Prior use is a definite help but not the only criterion to be used in selecting drying systems.

24 CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS ___________________________________________

As an example, concentrated nickel ore is dried in different parts of the world at very high production rates (20-75 t/h) using flash dryers, fluid bed dryers, rotary dryers as well as spray dryers. It is thus not a simple task to select a dryer for such applications based on what is done elsewhere. Over 400 dryer types have been cited in the technical literature although only about 50 types are commonly found in practice. In this chapter, we will examine the key classification criteria for industrial dryers and then proceed to selection criteria with the explicit understanding that the latter is a complex process, which is not entirely scientific but also involves subjective judgment as well as considerable empiricism. It should also be noted that the pre-drying as well as post-drying stages have important bearing on the selection of appropriate dryer types for a given application. Indeed, for an optimal selection of process, one must examine the overall flowsheet as well as the “drying system.” This chapter will be confined, however, only to the classification and selection of dryers. Another important point to note is that several dryer types (or drying systems) may be equally suited (technically and economically) for a given application. A careful evaluation of as many of the possible factors affecting the selection will help reduce the number of options. For a new application (new product or new process), it is important to follow a careful procedure leading to the choice of the dryers. Characteristics of different dryer types should be recognized when selecting dryers. Changes in operating conditions of the same dryer can affect the quality of the product. So, aside from the dryer type, it is also important to choose the right operating conditions for optimal quality and cost of thermal dehydration. According to a very recent survey conducted by SPIN (Solids Processing Industrial Network, UK, founded by 14 large chemical companies based in Europe) selection of dryers is a key problem faced by all companies (Slangen, 2000). Over ninety percent of the companies had made errors in selection of their new dryers. Sometimes the selection is easy but when a new product is involved or the production capacity required for exceeds current practice, it is not always an easy task. New requirements on safety and environmental aspects can also make the selection more difficult. The SPIN report recommends development of user-friendly expert systems and better standardization to assist with this complex selection process. It should be noted that the selection process is further complicated by the fact that each category of dryers (e.g., fluid bed, flash, spray, rotary) has a wide assortment of sub-classes and, furthermore, each must be operated at optimal conditions to benefit from appropriate selection. Baker (1997) has presented a “structural approach” for dryer selection, which is iterative. It includes the following steps: • • • • • • List all key process specifications Carry out preliminary selection Carry out bench scale tests including quality tests Make economic evaluation of alternatives Conduct pilot-scale trials Select most appropriate dryer types

CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS 25 ___________________________________________

Often, for same materials, a specific dryer type is indicated from the outset. If selection is based exclusively on past experience, it has some limitations: • If the original selection is not optimal (although it works satisfactorily), the new choice will be less-than-optimal • No new drying technologies are considered by default • It is implicitly assumed the “old” choice was arrived at logically, which is often not the case

2. CLASSIFICATION OF DRYERS
There are numerous schemes used to classify dryers (Mujumdar, 1995; van't Land, 1991). Table 1 lists the criteria and typical dryer types. Types marked with an asterisk (*) are among the most common in practice.

Table 1 Classification of dryers Criterion Mode of operation
Heat input-type

State of material in dryer Operating pressure Drying medium (convection)

Drying temperature

Relative motion between drying medium and drying solids Number of stages

Types • Batch • Continuous* • Convection*, conduction, radiation, electromagnetic fields, combination of heat transfer modes • Intermittent or continuous* • Adiabatic or non-adiabatic • Stationary • Moving, agitated, dispersed • Vacuum* • Atmospheric • Air* • Superheated steam • Flue gases • Below boiling temperature* • Above boiling temperature • Below freezing point • Co-current • Counter-current • Mixed flow • Single* • Multi-stage

26 CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS ___________________________________________

Residence time

• • •

Short (< 1 minute) Medium (1 – 60 minutes) Long (> 60 minutes)

* Most common in practice The above classification is rather coarse. Just the fluidized bed dryer can be subclassified into over thirty types depending on additional criteria. Each type of dryer has specific characteristics, which make it suited or unsuitable for specific applications. Details can be found in Mujumdar (1995). Certain types are inherently expensive (e.g., freeze dryers) while others are inherently more efficient (e.g., indirect or conductive dryers). Thus, it is necessary to be aware of the wide variety of dryers available in the market as well as their special advantages and limitations. It should be noted that the aforementioned classification does not include most of the novel drying technologies, which are applicable for very specific applications. The reader is referred to Kudra and Mujumdar (1995) for details on novel drying technologies. Following is a general scheme proposed by Baker (1997) for classification of batch and continuous dryers. Note that there is a more limited choice of batch dryers – only a few types can be operated in both batch and continuous modes.

Batch Dryers: Classification (Baker, 1997) (Particulate Solids) Major Classes: Layer (packed bed); Dispersion type
1. Layer type: a. Contact (conductive or indirect type), e.g., vacuum tray, agitated bed, rotary batch b. Convective (atmospheric tray) c. Special types (e.g., microwave, freeze, solar) 2. Dispersion type: a. Fluidized bed/spouted bed b. Vibrated bed dryer

Continuous Dryers: Classification Major Classes: Layer; Dispersion type
1. Layer type: a. Conduction, e.g., drum, plate, vacuum, agitated bed, indirect rotary b. Convective, e.g., tunnel, spin-flash, throughflow, conveyor c. Special, e.g., microwave, RF, freeze, solar 2. Dispersion type: a. Fluid bed, vibrated bed, direct rotary, ring, spray, jet-zone

CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS 27 ___________________________________________

Classification of dryers on the basis of the mode of thermal energy input is perhaps the most useful since it allows one to identify some key features of each class of dryers.

Direct dryers – also known as convective dryers – are by far the most common. About 85 percent of industrial dryers are estimated to be of this type despite their relatively low thermal efficiency caused by the difficulty in recovering the latent heat of vaporization contained in the dryer exhaust in a cost-effective manner. Hot air produced by indirect heating or direct firing is the most common drying medium although for some special applications superheated steam has recently been shown to yield higher efficiency and often higher product quality. Flue gases may be used when the product is not heatsensitive or affected by the presence of products of combustion. In direct dryers, the drying medium contacts the material to be dried directly and supplies the heat required for drying by convection; the evaporated moisture is carried away by the same drying medium. Drying gas temperatures may range from 50º C to 400º C depending on the material. Dehumidified air may be needed when drying highly heat-sensitive materials. An inert gas such as Nitrogen may be needed when drying explosive or flammable solids or when an organic solvent is to be removed. Solvents must be recovered from the exhaust by condensation so that the inert (with some solvent vapor) can be reheated and returned to the dryer. Because of the need to handle large volumes of gas, gas cleaning and product recovery (for particulate solids) becomes a major part of the drying plant. Higher gas temperatures yield better thermal efficiencies subject to product quality constraints. Indirect dryers – involve supplying of heat to the drying material without direct contact with the heat transfer medium, i.e., heat is transferred from the heat transfer medium (steam, hot gas, thermal fluids, etc.) to the wet solid by conduction. Since no gas flow is presented on the wet solid side it is necessary to either apply vacuum or use gentle gas flow to remove the evaporated moisture so that the dryer chamber is not saturated with vapor. Heat transfer surfaces may range in temperature from -40º C (as in freeze drying) to about 300º C in the case of indirect dryers heated by direct combustion products such as waste sludges. In vacuum operation, there is no danger of fire or explosion. Vacuum operation also eases recovery of solvents by direct condensation thus alleviating serious environmental problem. Dust recovery is obviously simpler so that such dryers are especially suited for drying of toxic, dusty products, which must not be entrained in gases. Furthermore, vacuum operation lowers the boiling point of the liquid being removed; this allows drying of heat-sensitive solids at relatively fast rates. Heat may also be supplied by radiation (using electric or natural gas-fired radiators) or volumetrically by placing the wet solid in dielectric fields in the microwave or radio frequency range. Since radiant heat flux can be adjusted locally over a wide range it is possible to obtain high drying rates for surface-wet materials. Convection (gas flow) or vacuum operation is needed to remove the evaporated moisture. Radiant dryers have found important applications in some niche markets, e.g., drying of coated papers or

In view of the significant increase in the number of design and operational parameters it is desirable to select the optimal operating conditions via a mathematical model. pre-conditioning of feed by . They are worth considering as devices to speed up drying in the tail end of the falling rate period.. It is often useful to boost the drying capacity of an existing convective dryer for sheets such as paper. to reduce the need for increased gas flow which results in lower thermal efficiencies. Microwave dryers are expensive both in terms of the capital and operating (energy) costs. selection of the best type is a challenging task that should not be taken lightly nor should it be left entirely to dryer vendors who typically specialize in only a few types of dryers. Only about 50 percent of line power is converted into the electromagnetic field and only a part of it is actually absorbed by the drying solid. indeed desirable in some cases. evaporation. Use of such combinations increases the capital costs but these may be offset by reduced energy costs and enhanced product quality. etc.g. Although here we will focus only on the selection of the dryer.g.. Also. SELECTION OF DRYERS In view of the enormous choices of dryer types one could possibly deploy for most products. RF dryers have limited industrial applicability. convection and dielectric fields. it is very important to note that in practice one must select and specify a drying system which includes predrying stages (e. leading to a different product and in some cases severe blockages in the dryer itself. No generalization can be made a priori without careful tests and economic evaluation. However. regardless of how well it is designed. to use combined heat transfer modes. 3. e. Finally. the most popular applications involve use of combined convection and radiation. It is possible. convection and radiation. handling properties. Both microwave and RF dryers must be used in conjunction with convection or under vacuum to remove the evaporated moisture.28 CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS ___________________________________________ printed sheets. Similarly. they do seem to have special advantages in terms of product quality when handling heat-sensitive materials. drying of thick lumber and coated papers. mechanical dewatering. In batch drying intermittent energy input has great potential for reducing energy consumption and for improving quality of heat-sensitive products. Tests should be carried out with the “real” feed material and not a “simulated” one where feasible. Note that minor changes in composition or physical properties of a given product can influence its drying characteristics. the heat input may be steady (continuous) or time varying.. They have found limited applications to date. which can be assessed for a comparative evaluation of several options.. They have found some niche markets. Standalone dielectric dryers are unlikely to be cost-effective except for high value products in the next decade. e. different heat transfer modes may be deployed simultaneously or consecutively depending on individual application. convection and conduction. See Schiffmann (1995) for detailed discussion of dielectric dryers. The user must take a proactive role and employ vendors' experience and benchscale or pilot-scale facilities to obtain data.g. However. A wrong dryer for a given application is still a poor dryer.

it is desirable to reduce the feed liquid content by less expensive operations such as filtration. product collection. mode of feedstock production (batch/continuous) Physical. it may be necessary to examine the entire flowsheet to see if the drying problem can be simplified or even eliminated. biochemical) Safety aspects. As a minimum. quality considerations override other considerations since the cost of drying is unimportant. chemical. size reduction. fire hazard and explosion hazards.CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS 29 ___________________________________________ solids backmixing. flexibility in capacity requirements Type and cost of fuel. dilution or pelletization and feeding) as well as the post-drying stages of exhaust gas cleaning. in some cases. As a rule. cost of electricity Environmental regulations Space in plant For high value products like pharmaceuticals. Typically. chemical and biochemical properties of the wet feed as well as desired product specifications. The optimal cost-effective choice of dryer will depend. expected variability in feed characteristics Upstream and downstream processing operations Moisture content of the feed and product Drying kinetics. Throughputs of such products are also relatively low. Demands on product quality may not always permit one to select the least expensive option based solely on heat and mass transfer considerations.g.. product quality requirements have over-riding influence on the selection process (see Section 4). e. which increases the energy consumption as well as drying time. non-thermal dewatering is an order-of-magnitude less expensive than evaporation which. cooling of product. coating of product. in the interest of energy savings and reduction of dryer size. on these stages. Often. back-mixing with dry product) prior to drying which affects the choice of dryers. the following quantitative information is necessary to arrive at a suitable dryer: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Dryer throughput. in some cases significantly. is many-fold energy efficient than thermal drying. in turn. atomized and dried in a spray dryer to produce a powder. pelletizing. partial recirculation of exhausts. moist solid sorption isotherms Quality parameters (physical. however.. centrifugation and evaporation. extrusion. toxicity Value of the product Need for automatic control Toxicological properties of the product Turndown ratio. a hard pasty feedstock can be diluted to a pumpable slurry. the feed may be conditioned (e. in general. In some cases.g. . Also. It is also desirable to avoid over-drying. For example. certain foods and advanced materials. agglomeration. flaking. or it may be pelletized and dried in a fluid bed or in a through circulation dryer. or dried as is in a rotary or fluid bed unit. etc.

Table 2 Typical checklist for selection of industrial dryers Physical form of feed • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Granular. a batch-type dryer may be suited. odd-shapes (small/large) Sticky. This is not uncommon in drying of pharmaceutical products. planks. lumpy kg/h (dry/wet). Note that there is a limited choice of dryers that can operate in the batch mode. In less than one percent of cases the liquid to be removed is a non-aqueous (organic) solvent or a mixture of water with a solvent. If the feed rate is low (< 100 kg/h). Such materials are subject to thermal as well as microbiological degradation during drying as well as in storage. solution.and post-drying operations (if any) For particulate feed products Inlet/outlet moisture content Chemical / biochemical / microbiological activity Heat sensitivity Sorption isotherms (equilibrium moisture content) Drying time . however. suspension. particulate. Table 2 presents a typical checklist most dryer vendors use to select and quote an industrial dryer. liquid. Special care is needed to recover the solvent and to avoid potential danger of fire and explosion. pasty. crystalline. continuous kg per batch (dry/wet) Oil Gas Electricity Mean particle size Size distribution Particle density Bulk density Rehydration properties Dry basis Wet basis Melting point Glass transition temperature Drying curves Effect of process variables Average throughput Expected variation in throughput (turndown ratio) Fuel choice Pre. sludge. continuous sheets.30 CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS ___________________________________________ Drying of food and biotechnological products require adherence to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) and hygienic equipment design and operation.

flow rate of hot air for a convective dryer). Fortunately. improved efficiency also translates into better environmental implications in terms of reduced emissions of the greenhouse gas (CO2) as well as NOx resulting from combustion... Note that energy costs will continue to rise in the future so this will become increasingly important. higher drying rates under certain conditions. SELECTION OF A DRYER BASED ON QUALITY As the product quality requirements become increasingly stringent and as the environmental legislation becomes more and more demanding it is often found that we need to switch from one drying technology to the others. The overall economics are also highly favorable. Location of the moisture (whether near surface or distributed in the material). 4..g. e. Most often. have a bearing on the type of suitable dryer as well as the operating conditions. not more than one dryer type will likely meet the specified selection criteria. Aside from simply deciding the residence time required. The rising cost of energy as well as the differences in the cost of fossil fuels versus electrical energy can also affect the choice of a dryer. etc. nature of moisture (free or strongly bound to solid). conditions of drying medium (e.g. for example. combination of heat transfer modes. pressure in dryer (low for heat-sensitive products). lower net energy consumption if the excess steam produced in the dryer is used elsewhere in the process. . it limits the types of suitable dryers. However. elimination of fire and explosion hazard. better quality for certain products. e. Superheated steam as the convective drying medium offers several advantages. can reduce drying times by a factor of up to four while enhancing wood quality and reducing net fuel and electricity consumption by up to 70 percent. temperature.. mechanisms of moisture transfer (rate limiting step). it is worth mentioning that many of the new techniques use superheated steam as the drying medium or are simply intelligent combinations of traditional drying techniques. Vacuum steam drying of timber. humidity. physical size of product.g. We will not focus on novel or special drying techniques here for lack of space.CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS 31 ___________________________________________ Special requirements Foot print of drying system • • • • • • • • Material of construction Corrosion Toxicity Non-aqueous solution Flammability limits Fire hazard Color/texture/aroma requirements (if any) Space availability for dryer and ancillaries Drying kinetics play a significant role in the selection of dryers. multi-staging of different dryer types. Since up to 70 percent of the life cycle cost of a convective dryer is due to energy it is important to choose an energy-efficient dryer where possible even at a higher initial cost.

32 CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS ___________________________________________ Following is an example of how selection of the dryer is affected by quality of the dried product that may be used as raw material to produce different consumer products. Shah and Arora (1996) have surveyed the various possible dryers used for crystallization/drying of polyester chips from an initial moisture content of about 0. especially for some certain products. e.g. Generally. Figure 1 shows schematics of the crystallization/drying steps involved. A two-stage dryer is indicated and is commonly used. column or packed bed dryer with the chips moving downward slowly under gravity) is cheaper and hence recommended for the lower quality grade but a more expensive fluid bed followed by another fluid bed or column dryer may be needed for the higher quality grade..g.30.5% (w. It is also important to operate the dryers at the correct conditions of gas flow rate. It is possible to use different dryer types for each stage as shown in Figure 2. Aside from low average moisture content it is also necessary to ensure uniform distribution of moisture.b. A single dryer type (e. Wet chips Crystallizer/ dryer 500-1000 ppm moisture Final Dryer < 50 ppm moisture Batch Vacuum tumbler Continuous DIRECT INDIRECT Paddle dryer Fluid bed Vibro-fluid bed Pulsed fluid bed Vortex (spouted) bed Column dryer (with mixer) Batch Vacuum tumbler Continuous DIRECT INDIRECT Paddle dryer Column dryer with internal tube Multi-stage fluid bed Figure 1 Schematic diagram of crystallization/drying steps in the production of polyester chips . Dehumidified air is needed to achieve low final moisture contents in accordance with the equilibrium moisture isotherms of the product.) to under 50 ppm. Note that numerous alternatives are possible in each case. The initial crystallization/drying is faster than the drying step at low moisture levels.. it is a two-step process. production of thin films. The uniformity constraint is less severe if the chips are to be used to make PET bottles. temperature and humidity. The material is heat-sensitive.

size. as well as energy consumption for atomization and particle size distribution. With proper choice of atomizer.g. Effect of selection of atomizer on spray dryer performance: A Comparison between different atomizers Parameter Dryer geometry Evaporation capacity (water) Chamber (D × H) Number of nozzles Power for atomizer Capital cost Operating cost Rotary disk Conical/cylindrical H/D ≈ 1. for PET bottles. Finish dryer: Column dryer with a central tube for smooth downward flow of chips AVERAGE e. smaller space requirements A. Table 3 Spray drying of emulsion-PVC. gas temperature and flow rate it is possible to “engineer” powders of desired particle size and size distribution.2-1. staple fibre.5 m × 15 m 16 nozzles 4 bar pressure 20 W/kg slurry Medium Low Two-fluid (standard) Tall-form Cylindrical H/D ≈ 5 1600 kg/h 3 m × 18 m 18 nozzles 4 bar pressure 80 W/kg slurry Medium High . 175-mm disk 15.5 m × 8 m 1. film A. More examples may be found in Masters (1985). A spray dryer is indicated when a pumpable slurry. for magnetic tape MEDIUM e.5 1600 kg/h 6. for speciality fibre. Table 3 shows how the choice of the atomizer affects chamber design.g.CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS 33 ___________________________________________ Polymers Chips: Quality Parameter HIGH e.g. Crystallizer: fluid bed or pulse fluid bed or paddle crystallizer B.. Finish dryer: Multi-stage fluid bed with dehumidified air Figure 2 Possible dryer types for drying of polyester chips Another example of dryer selection is related to the choice of a suitable atomizer for a spray dryer. Crystallizer: fluid bed B. solution or suspension is to be reduced to a free-flowing powder. Single column crystallizer/dryer with a mixer in the top crystallizer section to avoid agglomeration Low capital/operating cost.000 rpm 25 W/kg slurry High Medium Two-fluid (sonic) Tall-form Cylindrical H/D ≈ 4 1600 kg/h 3. The newly developed two-fluid sonic nozzles appear to be especially attractive choices when nearly monodisperse powders need to be produced from relatively moderate viscosity feeds (e. etc. under 250 cp) at capacities up to 80 t/h by using multiple nozzles.g. spray chamber design.

textiles) • Impingement (air) • Combined impingement and through dryers (textiles..g. low basis weight paper) • Impingement and MW or RF *New dryers do not necessarily offer better techno-economic performance for all products Feed type Liquid Suspension Dryer type • Drum • Spray . pulse combustion – newer gas-particle contactors as dryers) will eventually replace conventional dryers in the next decade or two. Over 250 US patents are granted each year related to dryers (equipment) and drying (process). contact dryers dryers paper. New technologies are inherently more risky and more difficult-to-scale-up.34 CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS ___________________________________________ New dryers are being developed continuously as a result of industrial demands. Kudra and Mujumdar (2000) have discussed a wide assortment of novel drying technologies. which are beyond the scope of this chapter. Hence there is natural reluctance to their adoption. superheated steam. Readers are encouraged to review the new developments in order to be sure their selection is the most appropriate one for the application at hand. Some conventional and more recent drying techniques are listed in the Table 4. Table 4 Conventional versus innovative drying techniques New techniques* • Fluid/spouted beds of inert particles • Spray/fluid bed combination • Vacuum belt dryer • Pulse combustion dryers Paste/sludge • Spray • Spouted bed of inerts • Drum • Fluid bed (with solid backmixing) • Paddle • Superheated steam dryers Particles • Superheated steam FBD • Rotary • Flash • Vibrated bed • Fluidized bed (hot air • Ring dryer or combustion gas) • Pulsated fluid bed • Jet-zone dryer • Yamato rotary dryer Continuous sheets • Multi-cylinder • Combined impingement/radiation (coated paper. in the European Community about 80 patents are issued annually on dryers. Suffice it to note that many of the new technologies (e.

Two Fluid Nozzles and their Application in Spray Drying of E-PVC. in C. Marcel Dekker. Marcel Dekker.S. 2000. Dryer Selection. R. Mujumdar (Eds. pp.. Mujumdar.S. Schiffmann. It is typically not a desirable option to depend exclusively on prior experience. A. in C. Special Drying Techniques and Novel Dryers. Mujumdar. We have not considered novel dryers in this chapter. 1996.) Drying’96: Proceedings of the Tenth International Drying Symposium. Mujumdar (Ed.S. New York. cost of fuel as well as on the subjective judgment of the individual who specified the equipment. It is not uncommon to find different dryer types being used to dry apparently the same material. Mujumdar (Ed. Poland.S. A.) Handbook of Industrial Drying.. Marcel Dekker. 1985. Halsted Press. Blackie Academic & Professional. in A. (Ed. Shah. Marcel Dekker. pp. 1995. C. Baker (Ed.J. Kudra. pp. Kudra. Each drying problem deserves its own independent evaluation and solution. 1995. Strumillo.... P. Handbook of Industrial Drying. REFERENCES Baker. London. Lodz.K. Most of them have yet to mature. in A.G. reports in the literature or vendors’ recommendations. K. 1997. 345-372. minor changes in feed or product characteristics result in different dryer types being the appropriate choices. pp.. a few have been commercialized successfully for certain products. New York. .S. Z. Advanced Drying Technologies. Often.M.CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS 35 ___________________________________________ CLOSING REMARKS It is difficult to generate rules for both classification and selection of dryers because exceptions occur rather frequently. 242-271.G.). A. Mujumdar. New York. Masters.S.. Kudra and Mujumdar (2000) have discussed in detail most of the non-conventional and novel drying technologies reported in the literature.F. T. It is useful to be aware of such advances so that the user can make intelligent decisions about dryer selection. 1995. R.) Handbook of Industrial Drying. New York. 1361-1366. Arora. 1087-1149.J.. T. 2nd Edition. 2nd Edition. Pakowski. flexibility requirements.. 2nd Edition.) Industrial Drying of Foods. Spray Drying Handbook. New York. The choice is dependent on production throughput. Microwave and Dielectric Drying. A. Since dryer life is typically 25-40 years that effect of a poor “prescription” can have a long-term impact on the economic health of the plant.

18(6). Industrial Drying Equipment: Selection and Application. . H.J. to appear in Drying Technology – An International Journal. New York. 2000.. C. 1991. Marcel Dekker.36 CLASSIFICATION AND SELECTION OF DRYERS ___________________________________________ Slangen. The Need for Fundamental Research on Drying as Perceived by the European Chemical Industry. van't Land..M.M.

it will allow the reader to obtain a quick understanding of the key features. the chapter is categorized according to the physical form of the feedstock to be dried since the first qualification of the selected dryer is the ability to physically handle the feedstock and the dried product themselves. In this chapter the focus is on providing a brief overview of the more common drying equipment (which naturally excludes the novel drying techniques. Mujumdar (1995). For an in-depth discussion of various dryer types the reader is referred to Mujumdar (1995). many of which have come on stream only recently and are not yet readily available on the market). among many others. No two dryers are identical even when used for drying nominally the same material. INTRODUCTION Wet materials come in different physical forms and are required to be dried to different desired specifications. have provided detailed classification schemes and selection criteria of dryers. main advantages and limitations of the various dryer types and their modifications. SLURRIES AND SHEET-FORM MATERIALS Arun S. However. For ease of presentation. Over 400 different dryer types have been proposed in the technical literature although only about 50 types are commonly used and readily available from various vendors. major topics of study by themselves. Even minor changes in feed condition and/or product specification may make the two dryers different in design or in operation or both. . It is also not extensive enough to cover all types and sub-types of dryers. Mujumdar 1.THREE CHAPTER DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS.

38 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. In a modified design. A rotating rake mixes the solids and thus improves the drying performance. SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ 2. After one rotation. The wet granular material is fed at the top and it falls under gravity to the next tray through radial slots in each circular shelf.1 Tray Dryers By far the most common dryer for small tonnage products. Such dryers can be operated under vacuum for heat-sensitive materials or when solvents must be recovered from the vapor. the air is heated indirectly by passage over internal heaters. Hot air is supplied to the drying chamber by turbine fans. a part of the exhausted air is recirculated with a fan located within or outside the drying chamber. The blades are staggered to ensure mixing of the material. In the design shown. . Often. which consists of a stack of coaxial circular trays mounted on a single vertical shaft. Figure 2 shows the so-called Turbo dryer. The key to successful operation is the uniform air flow distribution over the trays as the slowest drying tray decides the residence time required and hence dryer capacity. The product layer fed onto the first shelf is leveled by a set of stationary blades. it is possible to heat the trays by conduction and apply vacuum to remove the moisture evaporated. Up to 30 trays or more can be accommodated. Figure 1 A batch tray dryer It is possible to convert the batch tray dryer into a continuous unit. the material is wiped off the shelf by the last blade and falls onto the next lower shelf. These dryers require large amount of labor to load and unload the product. DRYERS FOR PARTICULATES AND GRANULAR SOLIDS 2. Typically. the drying times are long (10-60 hours). which scratch a series of grooves into the layer surface. Warpage of trays can also cause poor distribution of drying air and hence poor dryer performance. a batch tray dryer (Figure 1) consists of a stack of trays or several stacks of trays placed in a large insulated chamber in which hot air is circulated with appropriately designed fans and guide vanes.

cheese granules).. Figure 3 A cascading rotary dryer The drying medium (hot air. in rare cases. To increase the retention time of very fine and light materials in the dryer (e. combustion gases.g. . The latter mode is preferred when the material is not heat-sensitive and needs to be dried to very low moisture content levels.2 Rotary Dryers The cascading rotary dryer is a continuously operated direct contact dryer consisting of a slowly revolving cylindrical shell that is typically inclined to the horizontal a few degrees to aid the transportation of the wet feedstock which is introduced into the drum at the upper end and the dried product withdrawn at the lower end (Figure 3).) flows axially through the drum either concurrently with the feedstock or countercurrently. etc. SLURRIES… 39 __________________________________________ Figure 2 A Turbo dryer 2. The concurrent mode is preferred for heat-sensitive materials and for higher drying rates in general. flue gases. it may be advantageous to incline the cylinder with the product end at a higher elevation.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS.

particles with terminal velocities below the cross-flow gas velocity will be entrained and collected in the gas cleaning equipment. especially when the drum diameter is large.40 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Although numerous attempts have been reported which permit calculation of particle residence times in rotary dryers. Rotary dryers can be designed for drying time from 10 to 60 minutes. these units are referred to as kilns. Of course. The major heat and mass transfer processes are accomplished during the flight of the particles from the top to the bottom of the drum by gravity. A new variant of the classical rotary dryer uses a central axial header for the drying gas that is injected at discreet intervals along the length of the rotating shell directly into the “kilning” bed of particles. However. the design of commercial units is still based on pilot tests and empirical rules (often proprietary) based on prior experience with similar material and similar design of rotary dryer hardware. it is possible to introduce steam-heated tubes or coils within the shell. In some designs. Aside from providing additional energy for drying. For good efficiency. In order to enhance the drying rates in the rotary dryer without raising the gas temperature or gas flowrate excessively. the product holdup (typically 10-15 percent of volume) should be such as to cover the flights or lifters fully. If large retention time is needed for removing the internal moisture in the falling rate period. Clearly. it is possible to use a smaller shell diameter at the wet end for surface moisture removal with low holdup of material in the drum and then increase the shell diameter at the dry end to allow longer retention time with larger holdup. sizes and size distributions can be processed by proper design of the internal flights and lifters. it is possible to use a pneumatic conveyor to carry the product out of the dryer. such internals can also help with redistribution or delumping of the material. It is necessary to line the shell of rotary kilns with suitable refractory materials. a wide assortment of granular products of diverse shapes. The lifters lift the material to the top of the drum where it showers down in the form of cascades. . there is a “soaking” or “tempering” period when the temperature and moisture content fields in the particles tend to equalize before the particles are exposed to the convective drying condition again. The drying process is essentially intermittent. avoiding large clusters of material falling from the flights. When the particles settle on the drum wall as a bed and carried upward by the revolving shell. it is possible to use internal heaters only if the material does not stick to the walls of the internals. It is intense during the cascading motion under gravity when the particles contact the cross-flowing hot gas stream. The cascading action may cause severe attrition of fragile materials. this design is not suited for all types of materials. Special internals are needed for materials that tend to form large lumps that must be broken to avoid major problems in the later stages of drying. This type of flow distribution is more effective for heat and mass transfer and results in volumetric heat and mass transfer coefficients up to two times larger than those in the cascading dryer. Length-todiameter ratios of 4 to 10 are common in industrial practice. The drying medium is in cross-flow with respect to the cascading particles. Thermal efficiencies of rotary dryers vary widely in the range of 30-60%. SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ In this type of dryer. Rotary dryers can be operated at very high temperatures to accomplish various reactions in addition to or instead of simple drying. The lifters should be carefully designed to ensure good cascading action.

e. non-shrunken structure of the product allows rapid rehydration. drying occurs below the triple point of the liquid by sublimation of the frozen moisture into vapor.3 Freeze Dryers Highly heat-sensitive solids. This type of dryer is useful for handling heat-sensitive materials. according to schedules determined empirically. Finally. which dry at lower temperatures because of the vacuum conditions. Most freeze dryers are batch-type with rather low capacities although some continuous freeze drying units are in operation.or double-spiral. It is. yeast's and viruses can be freeze dried and the viability on reconstitution can still be high. freeze drying yields the highest quality product of any dehydration techniques. Vacuum pressure is typically under 25 Pa and the condenser operates at around –40o C. 120o C) but the temperature drops with time. to lower values.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. very versatile and are especially suited for high production rate demands. They are not recommended for fragile materials and for low production rates. pharmaceuticals and foods with high flavor content. Heat is supplied by heating the shell jacket using condensing steam or a thermal fluid. an indirect type batch dryer because of the difficulty of maintaining vacuum under continuous feeding and discharge conditions. A porous. such as some certain biotechnological materials. may be freeze dried at a cost that is at least one order-of-magnitude higher than that of spray drying – itself not an inexpensive drying operation. Generally. the horizontal cylindrical shell is stationary while a set of variously designed agitator blades revolves on a central shaft to agitate the material contained in the dryer shell. Heat for sublimation is supplied by conduction through the tray bottom. the term vacuum rotary dryer refers to an entirely different class of dryers. The outer blades are set close to the wall and may have a scraper attached to keep the material from building up on the walls and deteriorating the thermal performance of the unit. Multi-batch freeze dryers are used to permit nearly equal load on all systems throughout the drying cycle. overlapping drying cycles. A number of batch cabinets are programmed to operate with staggered. The heaters start at a higher temperature (say. Here. On the negative side. freeze dryers are program-controlled. Living cells. simple tray freeze dryers are by far the most common. Industrial freeze dryers can be of several types. Dried products are unloaded through a vacuum lock at the other end of the drying . bacteria.. Mammalian cells.g. say 40o C over 8-10 hour runs. To minimize drying times. which is then removed from the drying chamber by mechanical vacuum pumps or steam jet ejectors. however. The agitator may be a single. Flavor retention is also high due to the low temperature operation (-40o C). In larger units. Here. it is useful to note that while most of the continuous rotary dryers are operated under near atmospheric pressure. the central agitator shaft and the blades may also be heated. demand high capital costs and significant maintenance costs depending on the material being dried. freeze drying is not common in the chemical industry. Because of its inherently high cost nature. cannot be preserved by freeze drying. 2. Tunnel freeze dryer (Figure 4) is basically a large vacuum cabinet into which traycarrying trolleys are loaded at intervals through a vacuum lock at one end of the tunnel. SLURRIES… 41 __________________________________________ Rotary dryers are very flexible. in fact. they are typically less efficient.

costs and details on various freeze dried products. They are more expensive than atmospheric pressure dryers but are suited for heat-sensitive materials or when solvent recovery is required or if .4 Vacuum Dryers Figure 5 A paddle-type vacuum dryer For drying of granular solids or slurries. Liapis and Bruttini (1995) have provided a detailed analysis of the drying characteristics. Low pressure steam is used to heat the plates on which the trays sit.42 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Figure 4 A tunnel freeze dryer 2. vacuum dryers of various mechanical designs are available commercially. SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ chamber.

000 spray dryers are presently in use commercially to dry products from agro-chemicals. dyestuffs. Figures 5 and 6 show two vacuum dryers available commercially. it may boil and form a highly foamy.. Proper selection and design of the atomizer is vital to the operation of the spray dryer as it is affected by the type of feed (viscosity). biotechnologicals. DRYERS FOR SLURRIES AND SUSPENSIONS 3.g. porous structure of very low bulk density. The material forms a film over the heated band. The paddle dryer is suited for sludge-like materials while the vacuum band dryer is good for thin pastes or slurries. mineral concentrates to pharmaceuticals in capacities ranging from a few kg per h to 50 tons per h evaporation capacity. desired particle size and size distribution as well as the design of the chamber geometries and mode of flow.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Figure 6 A band-type vacuum dryer 3. . e. dairy products. such as solutions. suspensions or emulsions can be converted into powder. Liquid feedstocks. concurrent. SLURRIES… 43 __________________________________________ there are risks of fire and/or explosion. granular or agglomerate form in one step operation in spray dryer. Atomized feedstock in the form of a spray is contacted with hot gas in a suitably designed drying chamber. Figure 7 gives a process schematic for a spray dryer plant.1 Spray Dryers Over 20. Single-cone and double-cone mixers can be adapted to drying by heating the vessel jackets and applying vacuum to remove moisture. countercurrent or mixed flow (see Figure 8). abrasive property of the feed. feed rate. fine and heavy chemicals.

SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ Figure 7 A process schematic of a spray dryer plant Figure 8 Concurrent. It must be noted that design of spray dryers depends heavily on pilot scale testing. countercurrent and mixed flow spray dryer chambers It is beyond the scope of this chapter to cover all the important aspects of spray dryers in detail. Here.44 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. we will summarize the key aspects of spray dryers in a tabular form. It is impossible to scale-up quality criteria for spray dryers. in most . The reader is referred to Masters (1991) and Filkova and Mujumdar (1995) for further information. Fortunately.

mixed flow. Finally. concurrent.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Essentially. (b) Pressure nozzle and (c) Two-fluid nozzle. Figure 9 Typical spray dryer atomizer designs The design of the spray drying chamber depends on the needed residence time (see Table 1) as well as the type of atomizers used (see Table 2). i. Ultrasonic and electrostatic atomizers can also be used for special applications to produce monodisperse sprays but they are very expensive and low capacity units. SLURRIES… 45 __________________________________________ cases. The mode of flow. Figure 9 shows some typical atomizer designs. Most spray dryers operate at slight negative pressure.e. They are: (a) Rotary wheel (or disk) atomizers. depends on the desired characteristics of the product as summarized in Table 3. counter-current. three major types of atomizers are used in practice. Table 4 gives suggested spray dryer system . Aside from drying rate and quality tests. it is found that the larger scale dryer provides better quality product than the one obtained in smaller scale pilot tests.. it is also important to check potential of deposits in the drying chamber as this may lead to fire and explosion hazards. New designs may use low pressure chambers to enhance drying rates at lower temperatures to dry highly heat-sensitive products.

g.. X*: Multi-nozzle assembly Two-fluid nozzle X X X X X X X X X* - . non-hygroscopic Fine-to-coarse sprays (dmean = 180 m). Table 1 Residence time requirements for spray drying of various products Residence time in chamber Short (10-20 s) Medium (20-35 s) Long (> 35 s) Recommended for Fine. low temperature operation for heat-sensitive products Table 2 Atomizer selection criteria Rotary wheel Pressure nozzle Type of chamber * Concurrent X X X * Counter.46 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. low final moisture. surface moisture removal. danger of fire or explosion. non-heat sensitive products. SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ layout depending on the feedstock characteristics. e.current * Mixed (fountain) X Feed type Solution/slurries * X * Low viscosity X High viscosity X * Slurries * Non-abrasive X X * Slightly abrasive X X * Highly abrasive X Feed rate * < 3 m3 per h X X 3 * > 3 m per h X X* Droplet size * 30-120 m X * 120-150 m X X: Applicable. presence of organic solvents. drying to low final moisture Large powder (200-300 m). -: Not applicable. Collection of the dried powder from the spray dryer is also an important issue. Table 5 lists general recommendations for the selection of the dried powder collection system.

selfinertizing Characteristics General. high running cost Large air volumes Product recovery. very efficient. efficient. prevention of vapor emissions. all aqueous feeds Recovery of solvents. easy to clean Medium cost. Although both types may be used for the same feedstocks. which are most common in practice. the product properties (bulk density. SLURRIES… 47 __________________________________________ Table 3 Selection of mode of flow in spray drying chamber based on desired powder characteristics Dryer design – flow type Concurrent Mixed flow with integrated fluidized beds Mixed flow (fountain type) Characteristics Low product temperature To produce agglomerated powder For coarse sprays in small chambers. high bulk density powders Table 4 Spray dryer system layout System layout Open cycle Closed cycle Semi-closed. fines Recommended system Cyclones Bag filter Electro-static precipitator Cyclone + wet scrubber Since the choice of the atomizer is very crucial it is important to note the key advantages and limitations of the wheel and pressure nozzles.) will be different. elimination of explosion or fire hazards Prevent powder explosion (keep O2 content low) yet use higher inlet temperature Table 5 Selection of dry powder collection system Requirement Low cost. size. a. coarse particles. Rotary wheels (or disk) atomizers Advantages: • • • • • Handle large feed rates with single wheel Suited for abrasive feeds with proper design Negligible clogging tendency Change of rpm controls particle size More flexible capacity . etc.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. product no heat-sensitive Counter-current flow Products which withstand high temperatures. porosity.

(a) Wheel atomizer. Pressure nozzles Advantages: • • • Simple. (b) Single or two-fluid nozzle . SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ Limitations: • • • Higher energy consumption compared to pressure nozzles More expensive Broad radical spray requires large drying chamber (cylindrical-conical type) b. cheap No moving parts Low energy consumption Limitations: • • • Low capacity (flow rates) High tendency to clog Erosion can change spray characteristics Figure 10 Spray dryer schematics. compact.48 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS.

as shown in Figure 12. cocoa. filter. along with some internal moisture. in the first stage (spray dryer). Here. feed tank.. which is self-inertizing and used to handle materials with high risk of fire and explosion. air heater. one fitted with a wheel atomizer (cylindrical-conical) and the others with a nozzle atomizer (single or two-fluid). These figures also show other components of the system. The surface moisture from droplets is removed fully. Figure 11 Self-inertizing spray dryer system Figure 12 A two-stage spray dryer followed by a fluidized bed agglomerator When the product coming out of the spray dryer is too fine it does not wet readily and so is harder to reconstitute. exhaust fan. . milk powder. SLURRIES… 49 __________________________________________ Figure 10 shows schematics of two spray dryers.e. To make the product instantly soluble it is agglomerated in a small fluidized or vibrated fluidized bed. pump. fan cyclone. thus inactivating it. An extension of this basic concept is the so-called “Spray-Fluidizer” which dries the material in two stages.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Figure 11 shows the layout of a spray dryer system. This two-stage arrangement is used in the production of instant coffee. i. etc. which is a cylindrical vessel. excess air entering the system passes through the burner flame and used as combustion air. which takes longer time to come out.

which are self-explanatory. 3. rheology and temperature. The fluidized bed drying unit can be replaced with a through circulation band dryer at the bottom of the chamber. The dried film is doctored off once it is dry and collected as flakes (rather than powder).and double-drum dryers are done commercially to enhance drying rates for heat-sensitive materials. solids concentration. The paste must stick to the surface of the drum for such a drop to be applicable. A thin film of the paste is applied on the surface in various ways. slurries or pasty feedstocks are dried on the surface of a slowly rotating steam-heated drum. They are: (a) steam pressure or heating medium temperature. The spray chamber in this case is much wider at the bottom.2 Drum Dryers In drum dryers.. unlike the SprayFluidizer. SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ The final moisture content is achieved in a fluidized bed located at the bottom of the spray chamber as an integral part of it. The design of applicator rolls is important since the drying performance depends on the thickness and evenness of the film applied. e. this concept is the basis of the so-called Filtermat dryer used for sticky and sugar-rich materials which are hard to dry. drum dryers may be used to produce a precise hydrate of a chemical compound rather than a mixture of hydrates. Figure 13 shows four types of commonly used drum dryer arrangements. When recovery of .g. This two-stage arrangement makes the drying process very efficient and economic. Figure 13 Four types of drum dryers in common use Four key variables influence the drum dryer performance. They are also used when a porous structure of product is desired. Because it allows good control of the drying temperature. (b) Speed of rotation. such as pharmaceutical antibiotics.50 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Vacuum operation of both single. (c) Thickness of film and (d) Feed properties.

coated webs or textiles are dried on steam-heated cylinders (conduction heating) or jets of hot air may be impinged on the sheet for convective heating as well. .1 Drying of Boards and Sheets Although not common in the chemical industry. we will only review. Here. however. vacuum operation is recommended. in a general way. types of dryers to choose from when the feedstock is other than particulate or liquid-like. wood processing. SLURRIES… 51 __________________________________________ solvents is an issue. 4. Drying of Continuous Sheets Conductive/contact dryers Multi-cylinder dryer for paper Convective Impinging jets (air or superheated steam) Through dryers (for porous sheets) Radiant (with mild convection) Combined modes Impinging jets + MW Impinging jets + IR Impinging jets + throughflow MW/RF (usually as "assists") Figure 14 A coarse classification of dryers for continuous sheets 4. it may be desirable to use infrared heating to augment the drying rate if the material is not very heat-sensitive. For a detailed description and discussion of the various types of drum dryers. textile. drying of sheet-form materials or materials in the form of large and small pieces is a major question in paper. once again.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. lowering the pressure depresses the boiling point. coated or impregnated fabrics. food processing. In some cases. Figure 14 gives a coarse classification of possible dryers – the list is far from complete. we will review very briefly the main dryer types suited for such materials. Paper. polymer and photographic film production as well as in the graphic arts industries. In the following paragraphs. conduction as well as infrared dryers can be used for such materials although combined mode dryers are often more efficient. DRYERS FOR SHEET-FORM MATERIALS 4.2 Dryers for Continuous Sheets Convection. When recovering high boiling point solvents such as ethylene glycol. the reader is referred to Moore (1995).

4. for example. Here.g. which are conveyed mechanically. spin-flash dryers. 4. The following types of dryers will be discussed briefly: two-stage dryers. 5.. for example. In the latter. it is possible to use superheated steam as the drying medium in place of air or combustion gases. for example. Impinging jets may be used initially to remove surface moisture. may be dried in a rotary or a conveyor dryer.52 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Roto-Louvre dryer. flash or pneumatic dryers... Wood chips. the high velocity jets “pseudo-fluidize” the material to accomplish drying. band dryers. Only batch dryers are suited for these long drying time requirements.5 Drying of Materials in the Form of Thin Wafers Such problems are encountered in the wood (e. tunnel dryers. here we will cover only the most basic dryer concepts. Furthermore. Wood. rotary and fluidized bed types discussed earlier. potato chips) industries. microwave and radio frequency dryers. SELECTED DRYERS AND DRYING SYSTEMS In this section. is dried in hot air kilns from weeks to months depending on the size of the pieces to be dried and the type of wood species.g. we will consider the key features and applications of some specialized dryer types that are used in the chemical and ancillary industries but perhaps less commonly than that the spray. internal moisture comes out at much slower rate and this can be achieved in a tunnel dryer with modest parallel flow of drying medium. 4. the drying times may range from days to months. For thin sheets. Note that most of the dryers mentioned here have several variants that make them more efficient or otherwise desirable for a given application.3 Dryers for Piece-Form Sheets Materials like plywood or chipboard require long residence times to dry. SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ For drying of thin permeable sheets. wafer board) and food (e. infrared.. hot air jets impinge on a thin layer of wet chips. the total drying time may be in the order of seconds (e. textiles). .g. however. Superheated steam drying under vacuum conditions has been shown to enhance drying rates as well as product quality. it is possible to draw drying air through the sheet for highly enhanced drying rates.4 Dryers for Very Thick Sheets (or Odd Shapes) Here. one may use a continuous conveyor or through-circulation dryer or even the so-called impinging jet-fluidized bed dryer. tissue paper) to several minutes (e.g. Combined through and impingement drying is a particularly attractive option for drying of tissue or newsprint.

SLURRIES… 53 __________________________________________ 5.g. Figure 15 shows a two-stage arrangement. where the top first stage is a wellmixed fluidized bed dryer for a filter cake which is difficult to fluidize unless it is mixed with a fluidized bed of lower moisture content. Many more examples can be found in Mujumdar (1995). A small fluidized bed. which is the exit air from the lower second stage. The fundamental advantage of such a system is that one can remove the surface moisture rapidly using dryers or conditions suitable for rapid removal of surface moisture (e. removes the readily removable liquid while the tall “column” dryer allows a very long residence time during which the material crystallizes and dries very slowly. which receives the output of the first stage by gravity through a centrally located discharge tube. as the first stage.g. Figure 16 is another example of a commercial two-stage dryer for crystallization/drying of polyester chips. where the two stages may be the same dryer types (e.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. which controls the particle residence time to yield a uniform product moisture content. A plug flow continuous fluidized bed dryer can be zoned along its length by lowering the gas temperature from inlet to outlet. Figure 15 A two-stage fluidized bed dryer . fluidized bed) or may be different. is a spiral plug flow fluidized bed dryer. The lower stage. the first stage also uses internal heating panels to increase the drying rate since this stage receives drying air.. it is desirable to look into a two-stage operation. using higher gas temperatures or velocities). In this figure.1 Two-Stage Dryers When both surface and internal moistures must be removed from large quantities of feedstock. and use a dryer allowing longer residence time or gentler drying conditions as the second stage.. perhaps they should be considered as viable options more often than they are today to reduce drying costs and even enhance product quality. for example. There are numerous examples of two-stage dryers used commercially.

Flash dryers may be used to dry heat-sensitive solids in view of the short exposure time to the drying medium. SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ Figure 16 A commercial two-stage dryer for crystallization/ drying of polyester chips 5. combustion gases) and conveyed for long enough time to allow drying of the particulates in the size range of 10-500 microns during their transport. They have low capital cost although. The tube may be heated through the wall to keep up the temperature driving force as the gas loses its energy to the particles in the forms of heat of vaporization and sensible heat. small floor area) since the flash tube generally rises vertically so the flow of . blender – if solids backmixing is needed prior to dispersion. Noncircular cross-section (e. In some cases. the wet feed is dispersed mechanically into a hot gas stream (commonly air. rectangular with rounded corners) and tubes of non-rectilinear configurations (e. Most dryers are thus adiabatic and use a flash tube of circular and uniform cross-section. The dryer has small “foot print” (e. see Mujumdar (1995). There is a risk of fire and explosion so care must be taken to avoid flammability limits in the dryer. Clearly.g. heat exchangers.g. Here. only surface moisture of small particles can be removed economically in such a system of reasonable length of the insulated conveying tube.. in the form of a ring) are also employed for special applications. the tube may diverge and converge.g.g.. product collection devices) may cost much more than the basic flash dryer tube itself..54 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. For details. disperser. the ancillary equipment (e.. may have sudden expansions and contractions. The dryer must be designed with suitable rupture disks to minimize damage in the event of an explosion.2 Flash Dryers Figure 17 shows a schematic of the simple flash (pneumatic) dryer system. in some cases.

a screw feeder or a rotary valve may be used effectively. It does cause attrition. however.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Figure 17 Schematic of a simple flash dryer Design of the feeding system is crucial in flash dryer design. Flash dryers utilizing superheated steam as the drying medium have some unique quality and energy advantages over air drying systems.. It can be used as the first stage of a two-stage dryer system to remove only the surface moisture fast and cheaply while a higher residence time dryer (e. When it is feasible.g. The product may be collected in cyclones. For free-flowing powdery solids. baghouses and the very fine material removed prior to exhaust in wet scrubbers. it is a good idea to consider a flash dryer. More recently. Pasty or sticky materials need to be pre-conditioned by blending them with dried product using a single or twin-shaft paddle blender and then dispersed mechanically using a kicker mill or one of several other designs of rotating disperser. Removal of the surface moisture also helps fluidize the material well aside from reducing the size of the fluidized bed unit. The particles are coated thinly by the slurry and dried rapidly as a thin film. fluidized bed) may be deployed as the second stage. flash dryers consisting of inert media have been employed at pilot scales to dry slurries and suspensions. SLURRIES… 55 __________________________________________ particulates against gravity increases the residence time in the tube of a given length. which are sprayed onto them. Attrition due to inter-particle collisions and shrinkageinduced breakage of the dried film allows entrainment of the dry powder into the drying .

a rotor placed at the bottom of the chamber serves to disperse the feed. Figure 18 A spin-flash dryer 5. without the use of an atomizer. Care must be taken to ensure in pilot tests that there is no danger of product accumulation on the walls due to stickiness. Diameters up to 3. Hot drying air enters the chamber tangentially and spirals upwards carrying and drying the dispersed particles. which falls by gravity onto it. As shown in Figure 18. 5. The particles form a . however. Heavier wet particles remain within the chamber for a longer time and are broken up by the rotor – only the dried fine powder escapes to the gas cleaning system.5 m and lengths up to 12 m have been built commercially.3 Spin-Flash Dryers This dryer is basically a mechanically agitated fluidized bed designed for very short residence times so it is suited for removal of only the surface moisture. This process is yet to be commercialized. in which the drying gas contacts the wet particles rather inefficiently as the particles shower down from the flights and get exposed to the axial cross-flow of the gas. pulps. It is suited for drying sludges. This type of dryer can be a replacement for the more expensive spray dryer (which needs more thermal energy because the feed is wetter due to the pumpability requirements and also expensive because of the need for an atomizer). pastes.4 Roto-Louvre Dryer This dryer type is a modification of the conventional rotary dryer. SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ gas for collection in a cyclone or baghouse.56 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. (Figure 19) the slowly rotating (2-3 rpm) horizontal drum is fitted with longitudinal louvres which make a tapered drum within the external drum. In a Roto-Louvre design. Such dryers are recommended for some special applications only although numerous materials have been dried successfully in such units at capacities up to 10 tons per h. filter cakes. The exhaust containing the dried powder is cleaned and the powder recovered. high viscosity liquids. They are more expensive than the conventional flash or fluidized bed dryers.

the added complexity of the equipment increases the initial cost. . trucks or trolleys containing the material to be dried are transported at an appropriate speed through a long insulated chamber (or tunnel) while hot drying gas is made to flow in concurrent. If the material to be dried is not heat-sensitive and low residual moisture content is a requirement.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. one may employ higher gas temperatures in the countercurrent arrangement as well. the hottest and driest air meets the wetted material and hence results in high initial drying rates but with relatively low product temperature (wet-bulb temperature if surface moisture is present). cross-flow or mixed flow fashion (Figure 20). Product handling is gentler and hence results in less attrition. Higher gas temperatures can be used in concurrent arrangements while in counter-current dryers the inlet drying gas must be at a lower temperature if the product is heat-sensitive. However. Total drying times that can be handled range from 30 minutes to 6 hours. The resulting heat and mass transfer rates are much greater than those achieved in a conventional rotary dryer. countercurrent. cabinets. Combination flow or cross-flow arrangements are used less commonly. Figure 19 A Roto-Lourve rotary dryer 5. The latter offer high drying rates but the tunnels must be designed to fit the trolleys snugly so the drying gas flows through the material much like a through-circulation packed bed dryer.5 Tunnel Dryers In this simple dryer concept. SLURRIES… 57 __________________________________________ gently rolling fluidized bed at the bottom of the inner drum as the drying gas is introduced. In the concurrent mode. This may reduce the size of the dryer by up to 50 percent.

SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ Figure 20 A tunnel dryer 5. One option to alleviate this problem is to reverse the gas flow direction alternately over the length of the dryer. .6 Band Dryers For relatively free-flowing granules and extrudates that may undergo mechanical damage if they are dispersed. If the bed depth is large (over 10-15 cm) there may be a significant moisture profile in the bed with the solids resting on the band over dried and overheated. Also. Another option is to cause mixing of the bed at appropriate interval of space. Drying air at rather low velocities flows upwards through the band to accomplish drying. power requirements for air handling are low due to the low pressure drops needed. the final section may be a simple cooler so the product is ready for packaging or storage. this type of dryer is not a good choice for very wet or very fine solids. several bands are stacked one above the other and the material is made to drop under gravity from the higher to the next lower band which causes some random mixing of the material before it undergoes further throughcirculation drying. Gas cleaning requirements are minimal as low gas velocities are used. so-called multi-pass dryers.58 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. It is possible to use a temperature profile along the length of the conveyor so that the drier product can be exposed to lower gas temperatures if that is desired. Clearly. Also. A schematic of a single-pass band dryer is shown in Figure 21. In some commercial designs. it is important to ensure uniform distribution of the product on the band and also uniform distribution of the air flow within the chamber of the dryer to ensure uniform product moisture content. band dryers are a good option. Residence times from 10 minutes to 60 minutes are economically feasible. It is essentially a conveyor dryer wherein the band is a perforated band over which the bed of drying solids rests. This evens out the moisture profile while increasing the drying rate as well. These dryers are quite versatile and can handle relatively large and arbitraryshaped particles that may be heat-sensitive and fragile at the same time. In commercial designs of very large band dryers.

4. There are some niche applications for IR dryers in some certain industries. Industrial radiators are of two types: (1) Light radiators (near IR).8 Microwave (MW) and Radio Frequency (RF) Drying Unlike conduction. SLURRIES… 59 __________________________________________ Figure 21 A single-pass band dryer 5. e. ease of local control and low equipment costs. convection or radiation.7 . The IR wavelength range is from 0. drying of coated paper.2 µm and (2) Dark radiators. Also. in combination with convection.75 . dielectric heating heats a material containing a polar compound volumetrically.25 µm and 25 . While convection can yield heat fluxes of the order of 1-2 kW m-2. middle IR and far IR ranges. which generates heat in the exposed physical body.100 µm are referred to as near IR.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. i.7 Infrared Dryers Infrared (IR) dryers may be gas-fired ceramic radiators or electrically heated panels.1 µm to 100 µm.. IR power source must be cut off if there is upset in the process which may lead to overheating of the product.0 . simplicity. They offer the advantages of compactness. IR must be used in conjunction with convection or vacuum.0 µm. On the negative side.. i. thermal energy supplied at the surface does not have to be conducted into the interior. In many drying operations. e. 4-12 kW m-2 (light radiators) or 4-25 kW m-2 (dark radiators). radiation can yield much higher levels of heat flux. Clearly.e.. The wavelength ranges 0. respectively.e.g.e. as limited by Fourier's law of heat conduction. ceramic (3. 3.3. the evaporation rates feasible are not high enough to require IR radiators. e. IR dryers offer the potential for significant energy savings and enhancement in drying rates with better product quality.. quartz glass with peak radiation intensity at 1.1 µm) or metal radiators (2. 5.. i. Good control is essential for the safe operation. booster drying of paper in paper machines.g.g.. This type of heating provides the following advantages: • Enhanced diffusion of heat and mass • Development of internal pressure gradients which enhance drying rates • Increased drying rates without increasing surface temperatures • Better product quality . however. the high heat flux may scorch product and enhance fire and explosion hazards.3 µm).

.56. Drying of treated grapes in combined microwave and convection dryer has been shown to be very rapid and energy-efficient. CLOSING REMARKS The reader probably now has a sense of the bewildering array of dryer designs that one could possibly use for a given application. spouted bed. heat is generated due to friction of the excited molecules with asymmetric charges. SLURRIES… ___________________________________________ When an alternating electromagnetic field is applied to a “lossy” dielectric material. It is also possible to “pipe” microwave energy in various dryer configurations. fluidized bed. e.. Microwave vacuum drying and microwave freeze drying are among the commercial drying technologies that have so far found some applications. As noted in Chapter 2. water. these techniques are used mainly to boost drying capacity (to remove free water rapidly without generation of large thermal gradients in the material) or to remove the last few percent of water which comes out very slowly. selection of dryers and drying systems is not a task to be taken lightly since it can lead to major costs and even catastrophic failures.e.g. Further. Microwave freeze drying is typically carried out at temperatures well below the triple point of water. loss of productivity. etc.60 DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Generally. the incremental cost (in terms of capital costs. loss of product quality. This is a result of ionic conduction or dipole oscillations (Strumillo and Kudra. i. It is therefore not surprising that MW/RF drying is used only in special niche applications. The main limitation of MW and RF drying is that the technique is highly capital-intensive. extremely long drying time to remove traces of moisture or to obtain products of special characteristics not obtained otherwise. Since loss factors increase with temperature there is a danger of runaway. dielectric heating is combined with convection or vacuum to reduce the energy consumption.. the initial and operating costs are such that the enhancement obtained does not offset the added cost.12 and 40 MHz for RF and 915 (896 in Europe) and 2450 MHz for MW. Bound and free waters have different loss factor. Numerous laboratory and pilot scale studies have been reported on MW drying at atmospheric as well as vacuum conditions. It also consumes high-grade energy. The radio frequency range extends from 1-300 MHz while the microwave range is from 300 to 3000 MHz.g. e. However. 1986).. The main hurdle to commercialization of MW freeze drying is the high cost. while all these techniques do provide significant enhancement of the drying time required. Use of excessive power as well as maldistribution of power due to nonhomogeneities in the frozen solids can cause problem in MW drying. i. to enhance convective drying rates. and the conversion efficiency to dielectric field is only in the order of 50%. Typical conditions are: pressure in the range of 500 Pa and temperature of –40o C.) persists over a long period. 27.e. an accelerated heating rate causing a thermal damage to the material. . Since the dryer will typically last 25-40 years in operation. Unfortunately. However. vibrated bed or tray dryers..e. only specific frequency ranges are permitted for industrial heating applications. One must devote the necessary time. ranges 13. Thus. i. the costs ate prohibitively high. Table 6 summarizes the basic characteristics of MW and RF techniques. electricity. operating costs. these techniques are suited only for special applications involving very high value products.

) Handbook of Industrial Drying. in A. 2nd Edition. Drum Dryers. Burnt Mill. 1995. New York.S. in A. (Ed. . 2nd Edition. Marcel Dekker. Mujumdar (Ed. New York. 1995. 1986. Essex. 2nd Edition. 1995... K. Handbook of Industrial Drying. SLURRIES… 61 __________________________________________ effort and even budget to the selection phase to avoid paying for it over the lifetime of the dryer. I. the user is encourages to make the preliminary selection of one or more possible systems before enlisting the assistance of a vendors who typically specialize is a narrow range of drying equipment for obvious reasons.). Bruttini. New York. 1995. Moore. It is strongly suggested that the newly emerging technologies of drying should be evaluated closely before selecting the time-honored drying schemes. in A. 1991. Masters. New York. Applications and Design. Mujumdar. Mujumdar. Spray Drying Handbook.I. Strumillo. Marcel Dekker. Longman Scientific & Technical.. Gordon and Breach. Mujumdar (Ed. 249-262.S.. Marcel Dekker. R. Retrofitting an existing malfunctioning dryer can be expensive with long payback times. REFERENCES Filkova.) Handbook of Industrial Drying. Finally. 2nd Edition. Kudra. pp.. pp.S. Industrial Spray Drying Systems.S. A.S. Mujumdar (Ed. C. 263-307. Freeze Drying.DRYERS FOR PARTICULATE SOLIDS. Liapis. A. pp. A. T.G.. 309-343. New York. J. Drying: Principles. Marcel Dekker..) Handbook of Industrial Drying.

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Since whatever products need to be dried currently are being dried with existing technology (some literally centuries old) it is often hard to justify the need for innovation and concomitant need for R&D in drying and dewatering to the layman. distillation. which on an economic scale may be an order-of-magnitude less significant. It is instructive to start our discussion here with a definition of innovation. one would normally not associate drying with innovation. drier or drying in them – are issued by the US Patent Office each year. Only about ten percent or less of this number is being issued in some of the other unit operations. INTRODUCTION As an operation of pre-historic origin.. that some 250 patents – the titles of which contain words dryer. it is important to recognize that novelty per se is not an adequate justification for embracing new .g. membrane separations. There appears to exist a negative correlation between a current level of industrial interest and academic research activity. At the outset. however. Mujumdar 1. at least as measured by the number of publications in the archival literature.CHAPTER FOUR INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES AND FUTURE TRENDS Arun S. adsorption. types of innovation and then identifying the need for innovation in drying as well as the features common to some of the novel drying technologies. It is interesting to note. Finally. e. This is reflected in the relatively low level of R&D resources drying is able to attract as opposed to some of the exotic bio-separation processes. we close by briefly mentioning some of the novel technologies developed in the past decade or two. crystallization.

or device Notice that it does not use adjectives like better. 10-20 years – typical of drying technologies) innovations come slowly and less readily accepted. it must be technically feasible and cost-effective compared to the current technology. method. however. process or service in the marketplace” To make it into a free marketplace.. INNOVATION: TYPES AND COMMON FEATURES It is interesting to begin with Webster's Dictionary’s meaning of innovation. precedes with development of the invention. the innovation must be cost-effective. • • Initially. as in the case of some electronic and computer products).. n. What are the motivating factors for innovation? For drying technologies. value comes from enhancing product. I offer the following list. In our vocabulary. operation or process. higher quality. etc. and results in the introduction of new product.g. more costeffective. Thus.: • • The introduction of something new A new idea. we are not interested in innovation for the sake of novelty or even originality of concept but for the sake of some other positive economic attributes. to qualify an innovation. The management of innovation depends on the “stage” it is at.64 INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES ___________________________________________ technology. For longer half-lives (e.e. improved. one or more of the following attributes may call for an innovative replacement of existing products. I prefer instead the following definition given by Howard and Guile (1992): “A process that begins with an invention. • • • • • • • New product or process not made or invented heretofore Higher capacities than current technology permits Better quality and quality control than currently feasible Reduced environmental impact Safer operation Better efficiency (resulting in lower cost) Lower cost (overall) Innovation is crucial for their very survival of industries with short time scales (or life cycles) of products/processes. which is innovation. a short half-life (less than one year.. superior. 2. value comes from rapid commercialization Later. process or service . i.

Therefore. have shorter gestation periods. I believe that true innovation is nonlinear – even chaotic – trial-and-error. may have larger market resistance and are often a result of “technology-push”. Numerous studies have appeared in the literature on the fundamental aspects of the process of innovation. i. which may be revolutionary or evolutionary. on the other hand. What may be classified as innovations can represent different characteristics. are few and far between. that some of the truly remarkable revolutionary technologies evolved well before the fundamental physics or chemistry responsible for their success was worked out. value may come from discontinuing and embracing newer technology. shorter times for market acceptance and are typically a result of “market-pull” – something the marketplace demands. It is well known that the concept of a helicopter appeared some 500 years before the first helicopter took to the air. One of the models of the innovation process assumes a linear progress from (a) discovery of laws of nature to (b) invention to (c) development of a marketable product or process in this order. From our experience. They are riskier and often require larger R&D expenditures as well as sustained marketing efforts. It took a full twenty years of patient and high quality R&D before the process was first deployed successfully. It is well known. In fact it is not fully understood even today! Most recent example of this long gestation period is the Condebelt drying process for high basis weight (thick grades) paperboard proposed and developed by late Dr. This principle applies to all technologies. Revolutionary innovations. Note that management must be agreeable to discontinuing a currently viable technology in the interest of future of the company if the technology has reached its asymptotic limit of performance. . have longer gestation periods. it is difficult to teach innovation in a logical sense although one could presumably encourage creativity or try to remove blockages in the process of creativity. These usually result from a linear model of the innovation process (an intelligent modification of the dominant design is an example). They are often based on adaptive designs. The idea of using superheated steam as the drying medium was well publicized over one hundred years ago.e. a need exists currently for the product or process. The time from concept to market can be very long for some new technologies. 1992): • • • • Innovation establishes an entirely new product category Innovation is the first of its type in a product category already in existence Innovation represents significant improvement in existing technology Innovation is a modest improvement in existing product/process Innovations trigger technological changes. yet its real commercial potential was first realized only about fifty years ago and that too not fully. Jukka Lehtinen for Valmet Oy of Finland. Following is a list of the quality parameters of innovations in general (Howard and Guile. we know that the latter are more common. however. where development of a new technology elsewhere prompts design of a new product or process for which market demand may have to be created..INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES 65 __________________________________________ • At maturity. serendipitous process.

When this happens (or even sooner). When the technology matures (or is “saturated” in some sense). In some cases. They represent discontinuity when one technology replaces another and industry moves from one S-curve to the next. time is right to look for alternate technologies which should not be incremental improvements on the dominant design but truly new concepts. . the performance versus effort (resources) curve occurs in pairs when one technology is replaced by another. a sharp distribution or grouping in just two types is not possible since a “market-pulled” development may require a “technology-push” to succeed. As proven by Foster with the help of real world examples. Foster's well-known “S” curve (Figure 1. Resources Performance Figure 1 Foster's S-curve Table 1 lists examples of some new drying technologies that were developed via technology-push versus market-pull. will yield a performance level well above that of the current one. which gives a sigmoid relationship between product or process performance indicators and resources devoted to develop the corresponding technology. which once developed to their full potential. no amount of further infusion of R&D resources can enhance the performance level of that technology. Foster. is a valuable tool for such tasks. 1986).66 INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES ___________________________________________ The vision required by the management teams of such organizations must be truly farsighted! It is natural to inquire if it is possible to predict or even estimate the best time when the marketplace requires an innovative technology or the mature technology of the day is ripe for replacement.

centrifuges. reduced environmental impact. It should be noted that the focus here is on innovation and not on dryers per se.1 Mechanical Dewatering To reduce the thermal load on dryers. we will include in our listing some innovative dewatering technologies as well.. dewatering is difficult due to the small particle sizes (< 5 m) involved. With colloidal materials. better quality product. partly as a result of technologypush and partly as a result of market-pull. Conventionally. Details are available in the chapter on Special Drying Technologies and Novel Dryers by Kudra and Mujumdar (2000). food processing wastes. it is impossible to include schematics of all the dryers mentioned in this chapter. For lack of space. etc. Only the innovative aspects will be mentioned here. • Electro-osmotic dewatering (EOD) – application of a DC field to a bed of colloidal suspension . Impulse drying/Condebelt drying of paper (also need technology-push) Pulse combustion drying – PC developed for propulsion and later for combustion applications Vibrating bed dryers – originally deveCombined spray-fluid bed dryers – to loped for solids conveying improve economics of spray drying Impinging streams (opposing jets) – origi. such as dewatering). waste streams from tertiary treatment of paper mills. In recent years.INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES 67 __________________________________________ Table 1 Examples of new drying technologies developed through technology-push and market-pull Technology-push* Microwave/RF/induction/ultrasonic drying Market-pull** Superheated steam dryers – enhanced energy efficiency. SOME EXAMPLES OF INNOVATIVE DRYING TECHNOLOGIES Since one must think in terms of drying systems (including pre-drying operations.Intermittent drying – enhance efficiency nally developed for mixing. decanters. safety. the following novel processes have evolved successfully. etc. it is important to minimize the water content of the wet feed material. 3. combustion applications *Technology originally developed for other applications applied to drying **Developed to meet current or further market demand 3.g. tailings from coal mines or oil sands. this is done using vacuum or pressure filters. e.

Many users seem to be unaware of some of these innovative modifications of the FBDs. Interestingly.g. continuous webs and sheet-form materials. Using internal draft tubes. two-dimensional design and/or a mechanical spouting action. there is still a potential to improve and exploit them further. Table 2 of Chapter 5 summarizes the enormous number of possible variants of FBDs that are now used to dry not only particulates (which was the original idea) but also slurries. beans) that have a characteristic internal recirculatory motion and a spout (or fountain) at the top free surface. In batch fluidized bed drying. Novel dewatering techniques could be coupled with drying giving a synergistic benefit overall. it is possible to effect a major saving in energy costs. 1996).68 INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES ___________________________________________ • • • • Interrupted electro-osmotic dewatering – periodic interruption of power by shorting the electrodes. a control strategy that keeps the bed temperature constant by adjusting heat input saves energy (and time) while enhancing the quality of heat-sensitive products (Devahastin and Mujumdar. so-called pulsed fluid beds (Gawrzynski and Glaser.. This process is more effective than the continuous one for fundamental reasons Combination of vacuum filtration with EOD – both steady and intermittent applications Combined field dewatering – EOD coupled with ultrasonic field Vibration-assisted micro-filtration – superior to cross-flow filtration While some of the above innovative concepts have been commercialized successfully.3 Spouted Bed Dryers (SBDs) These are essentially modified fluidized beds of larger particles belonging to Geldart's D group (e.g. Table 7 of Chapter 5 shows some of the variants of the SBDs. Most of the variants shown are used in industrial drying applications to varying extent. Filter-dryers are batch units that avoid transfer of the contents from one unit to another and thus avoid potential of contamination – a particularly attractive feature for the pharmaceutical industry. grains. by fluidizing only parts of the particulate bed at a time. which could be used to dry not only larger particulates but also slurries and pastes. 3. These are very simple devices . The particle motion is regular rather than chaotic (or random) as in the fluidized bed. pastes. 3. Some of these processes could be coupled with a batch drying operation similar to that of a conventional Nutsch filter or combined filter-dryer.2 Fluidized Bed Dryers (FBDs) FBDs have become very popular over the past three decades owing to their numerous favorable features for drying of particulates that can be fluidized. 1999). Large pieces that cannot be fluidized by themselves can be immersed in a fluidized bed of smaller fluidizable inert particles and dried.. it is possible to eliminate or alleviate several of the weaknesses of the conventional axisymmetric SBDs. e. Such a dryer based on a fuzzy logic control is already on the market.

The so-called SOJIN (Self-Oscillating Jet Impinging Nozzle) has been shown to enhance the heat transfer rate significantly (Chinnock and Page. In order to improve the drying rates even further... No application in drying has been reported so far although the concept is a truly innovative result of technology-push. grains) use of intermittent heating of the spouting air as well as intermittent spouting can lead to a substantial saving in energy costs with possible improvement in quality. This is achieved in the rotating jet spouted bed (Jumah et al. by using steam drying one can use less amount of chemical pulp and yet produce newsprint of good mechanical strength. i.. it is important to choose the right geometry for the nozzles as well as the right operating conditions. environmentally unfriendly.. In some cases (e. both conventional and alternates are being considered (de Beer et al. it is important to find ways of enhancing the conventional impinging jet heat transfer rates. IJs can be used also to dry particles or chips by pseudofluidizing a bed supported on a conveyor belt. 1994)..g. The superheated steam dryer concept for paper first proposed and initially demonstrated by the author in 1981 has yet to be validated at mill scale. pulp sheets). has low lignin content. Thus. the web may be supported by jets impinging on both sides of the web for contactless drying. It is noteworthy that for particles with primarily internal resistance to heat and mass transfer (e. i.5 Drying of Paper Table 2 summarizes the various drying technologies for paper. Use of a gas-particle impinging jet has also been found to yield significant enhancement in impingement heat transfer. textiles. IJs are used in paper.INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES 69 __________________________________________ which have not been exploited fully yet. textile. 1996). Paper dried in superheated steam using impinging jets and/or through drying has been shown to yield better strength properties especially when the pulp is mechanical pulp. While a need exists for an improved drying technology for paper to replace the century-old multi-cylinder dryers. double-sided coated papers. Mechanical pulp is so-called high-yield pulp since one can obtain a higher yield of mechanical pulp per ton of wood used. none is on the horizon yet.e. 3.. etc. However. sometimes in conjunction with infrared heat sources between modules of IJs. industries extensively. photographic film. For optimal design. veneer. steam drying of paper saves energy as well as resources. coatings. Finland for linerboard has already been successfully commercialized in Finland and South Korea.. the dryer becomes mechanically complex to design and operate. The Condebelt dryer developed by Tampella-Valmet.e.4 Impinging Jet Dryers (IJDs) Impinging jets (IJs) provide the best configuration for convective heat/mass transfer to a surface. 3.g. One way to do this is to attach a collar that causes oscillations and vortex shedding in the jet exit flow to a tubular nozzle. 1998). Therefore. . Chemical pulp is low yield and highly polluting.

Probably net increase Increase because of higher pressure demands. decrease because of shorter drying section and less refining Increase because of pressing demands and extra vacuum suction boxes. induction). energy conservation. paper quality Motivation for development High-speed machinery. size of machinery Energy conservation.7 m Not tested yet for paper drying Basic R&D. 240-400 m/min. decrease due to smaller drying section Number and type of groups working on development If any. shorter machine possible High-speed operation. cost reduction Quality.Table 2 Comparison of several paper drying technologies Measure Possible saving on Fuel Dry sheet 100% Electricity Increase because of higher pressing demands. New equipment Medium: reduction of drying section. experiments with IR and induction heating. lab/pilot scale tests Impulse drying 50-75%. Expected costs of new paper mill Low: elimination of drying section Commercial for bulky grades of paper. New equipment Press drying 50-75%. energy conservation Medium: reduction of drying section. energy conservation. 20% Fundamental: delamination. no research for other grades Several pilot plants. no technology exists for broadening field of application Fundamental/ technical: sheet delamination. Large number of pilot scale experiments Pilot plant is being built with a length of 18 m and a web width of 0. New equipment Condensing belt drying Airless drying Almost 100% One small research institute (one to three persons) McGill Univ..and out-going consistency and the type of heating Approx. highspeed machinery. depending on the in. paper quality improvement. paper manufacturers State of the art Bottlenecks for further development Fundamental. decrease because of less pumping power and elimination of drying section Increase because of higher pressing demands and heating press (IR. speed approx. New equipment Medium: reduction of drying section. operational speed is limited Standard: increasing machine speed Medium: reduction of drying section.and out-going consistency and the type of heating Machinery manufacturers and large research institutes Machinery manufacturers and large research institutes One machinery manufacturer Paper quality improvement. decrease because of elimination of conventional drying section Increase because of power for compressor. through drying) 60-75% Technical: air tightless with continuous drying Air infiltration at high machine speeds Medium: reduction of drying section. size of machinery Paper quality improvement. energy conservation. decrease because of shorter drying section. VTT (Finland) Superheated steam drying (impinging jets. depending on the in. energy conservation. decrease because of elimination of drying section Increase due to power for compressor. New equipment .

7 Impinging Streams Dryers (ISDs) The impingement zone created by the head-on collision of two confined turbulent streams of gas or gas-particle is particularly favorable for high heat/mass transfer rates. the Yamato design can reduce dryer volume by a factor of two for similar operating conditions. the initial mill-scale testing will take place in smaller machines producing specialty papers and not commodities like newsprint. When feasible. simplicity and lower cost (Yamato. They are generally capital-intensive. It also is a zone wherein de-agglomeration. New criteria are formulated to characterize performance of dispersion dryers. Several stages of impingement zones can be generated to reach the desired final moisture content. The heat and mass transfer rates are almost doubled with all the resulting advantages of smaller size. 3. Experimental validation is required although the computed results do appear physically plausible. where the potential benefits of successful deployment are enormous. Recently. via computational fluid dynamic modeling and Monte Carlo simulations. operating pressure and jets Reynolds number were examined numerically assuming a power law model for the falling rate drying kinetics. however. 1996). a novel two-dimensional ISD using superheated steam as the carrier medium. Such a dryer is not suited for all types of materials normally handled by a cascading rotary dryer. of Tokyo. Larger particles have a longer residence time in the confined opposing jet flow field due to their higher inertia. 3.6 Rotary Dryer Rotary dryers have been the workhorses of many industries that produce high tonnage products. pastes or slurries. This is a major advantage of this truly innovative idea in rotary drying. However. Impinging streams are thus ideal for flash drying of particulates.Because of the enormously capital-intensive nature of the papermachine it is difficult to introduce a totally new drying technology in a large scale. less efficient but very flexible. Use of steam tubes immersed within the rotating shell makes the cascading rotary dryer thermally more efficient. Japan has patented a simpler design of the rotary dryer wherein the drying air is injected into the bed of material being carried in a rotating cylindrical shell through a multiplicity of pipes branching off from a central pipe. Hosseinalipour and Mujumdar (1997) examined. Yamato Sankyo Mfg. Particle Biot numbers were assumed to be small and the maximum number of particles tracked in the Eulerian-Lagrangian simulation was limited to 2000 owing to the enormous computer time required. Kudra and Mujmdar (1995) have classified the wide assortment of ISDs although only a few have been studied so far. Effects of the degree of superheat. The model predicts the number distribution function for particle moisture content and residence time. Co. atomization or dispersion of particles can occur. The dilemma in introducing innovative technologies is that no one wants to be the first in the field due to the higher risk levels involved. there has not been much true innovation in this technology for some time. Most likely. Most recently. . or tissue.

safe operation Among the limitations are cost variability of methanol. It is unfortunate that this idea is not generally applicable to many other products. 3. conventional two-fluid nozzles and . 3. pollution-free combustion. however. It is often considered a mature technology.9 Spray Drying Today. Use of alcohol as the fuel has the additional advantage of environmentally friendly. extra care needed in transportation. non-suitability for drying knitted goods. However. over 20. particularly in the following: • Higher production rates (using multi-stage designs) • More uniform (ideally monodisperse) particle size distribution – determined by atomizer design • Containment of powder – preferably within dryer chamber • Reduction or elimination of deposits on walls which lead to fire hazard. ISDs have strong potential to replace conventional flash dryers in some applications once the problems of scale-up are resolved. no commercial ISD suppliers exist in the rest of the world. the drying is both efficient and rapid. where the energy is needed. there is still ample scope for improvement.72 INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES ___________________________________________ While much of the laboratory and pilot scale work in this area was done in the former USSR. The dryer is effectively a combustion chamber (at 600o C) wherein the fabric residence time is just equal to the time required for complete drying.8 Remaflam Drying of Textiles This by far is the most exotic and innovative drying process. handling. Details are available in von der Eltz and Schon (1984). limitation of fabric speed and possible “singing” or melting of edges. By mixing the fuel with the liquid (water) to be evaporated and combusting it in a controlled manner. A 34% methanol solution in water gives an ideal fuelwater mixture to accomplish combustion to meet the drying needs. large down time and high maintenance costs • Better designs using modern CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) Table 3 compares the performance of a 1600 kg/h capacity spray dryer for production of emulsion PVC using rotating disk. The idea of producing heat exactly where it is needed to evaporate the moisture does not have wide applicability. Among its other advantages noted by the manufacturer are: • Smaller space (~ 1 m long) • Easily cleaned and maintained • No energy wastage due to over drying • Energy consumption unaffected by width of fabric • Fully automatic control. and storage of methanol.000 spray dryers are in operation around the world. See Tamir (1992) for additional information on ISDs.

low production rate product applications (e. sonic or ultrasonic nozzles) are central to advances in spray drying technology.2-1. More recently. will no doubt become increasingly common in the future. pharmaceutical. 175-mm disk 15. biotech products) using a spray chamber at low pressures..000 rpm 25 W/kg slurry High Medium Two-fluid (sonic) Tall-form Cylindrical H/D ≈ 4 1600 kg/h 3. low rpm disk atomizers) or produce a more uniform spray (e.5 1600 kg/h 6.5 m × 15 m 16 nozzles 4 bar pressure 20 W/kg slurry Medium Low Two-fluid (standard) Tall-form Cylindrical H/D ≈ 5 1600 kg/h 3 m × 18 m 18 nozzles 4 bar pressure 80 W/kg slurry Medium High To reduce the footprint of the drying system and fully contain the powder within the spray chamber. lower power consumption for atomization and also a better monodisperse powder.5 m × 8 m 1. Design of the new atomizers which consume less power (e. vibrated bed. through circulation conveyor drying. Niro A/S have introduced integrated particulate filters within the drying chamber near the roof of the dryer so that external cyclones are not needed (Masters. The final stage (fluid bed or vibrated bed) can also granulate or agglomerate the product for easy handling. 1996). For high production rates two-stage or three-stage spray dryers are most cost-effective. ultrasonic nozzles are being tested for high value. Operation under vacuum or using superheated steam may also find niche applications as a result of some unique properties such processing may impart to the powders produced..g. Effect of selection of atomizer on spray dryer performance: A Comparison between different atomizers Parameter Dryer geometry Evaporation capacity (water) Chamber (D × H) Number of nozzles Power for atomizer Capital cost Operating cost Rotary disk Conical/cylindrical H/D ≈ 1.g. 1999). . Finally.newer two-fluid sonic nozzles (Shah and Arora. Figure 3 compares the plant layouts for the conventional system versus the new integrated filter system. Figure 2 shows a spray dryer with a second stage dryer and a filter assembly at the top. INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES 73 __________________________________________ Table 3 Spray drying of emulsion-PVC. followed by less-expensive drying technologies such as fluid bed.g. etc. better rehydration characteristics.. multistage operations involving spray drying as the first stage to remove the surface moisture and hence the surface stickiness of the particles as well as to “engineer” the product size and geometry. It is easy to see the advantages of the sonic nozzle as it yields a smaller drying chamber.

. Figure 2 Spray drying chamber with integrated fluid bed and particulate filters Figure 3 Plant layouts. e. flash dryers. On the other hand. rotary.g.74 INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES ___________________________________________ 3. They are common in the pharmaceutical industry for the former reason while they are used in the wood industry and for freeze drying of ultraheat-sensitive products in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries for the latter reason. spray. (A) Conventional layout (B) Powder containment layout . days or even months as in the case of some certain wood drying applications). e.. most continuous dryers cannot operate in the batch mode. fluid beds. Some dryers can operate in both batch and continuous modes. There is a limited choice of dryers for batch drying.g.10 Batch Dryers Batch dryers are commonly used to dry small quantities or when the drying times are very long (of the order of several hours.

No pretense is made that the list is all-inclusive.. A collaborative interaction between academia and industry is most likely to lead to improved drying and dewatering technologies of the future. R&D investment is needed in the development of new technologies and understanding of the existing ones so that they may be scaled-up and optimized confidently. While no mention was made here of the role of basic research to enhance the fundamental understanding of drying and dryers it is indeed a key factor in identifying and testing new drying concepts and dryer designs. • Use of intermittent and/or time-dependent drying. The drying air temperature can be varied from a higher initial value in the constant rate drying regime when the surface moisture is being removed to a lower value when the critical moisture is reached. pressure of drying chamber as well as intermittent supply of other forms of energy. Some of the common features of innovations are identified. There will be fewer revolutionary innovations driven by technology-push because the market penetrability of such innovations is difficult and unpredictable.INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES 75 __________________________________________ Among some of the recent developments in batch drying one may cite the following: • Combined filtration and drying in a single unit. air velocity.g. If mathematical models of drying could be developed that considered not only the transport phenomena but also product quality predictions they could be a valuable engineering design tool for development of novel dryers. For heat-sensitive materials reducing the heat input as the moisture content decreases ensures that the product temperature will not exceed a prespecified permissible value during drying. Numerous studies have been reported in the literature on intermittent drying using variable air temperature. e. it is necessary to test and validate new concepts of drying in the laboratory and if successful then on a pilot scale.g.g. it is only illustrative. Most innovations are likely to be evolutionary and driven by market-pull. Nutsch dryers used in the pharmaceutical industry to minimize chances of contamination during transfer of a wet cake from a filter to a dryer. e. The possibilities are immense and limited only by the imagination of the designer. The willingness of industry to accept a certain amount of risk will be central to the development of new drying technologies in the coming decade. varying the drying air temperature or velocity with time to match the requirements of the instantaneous drying kinetics.. e. There is need for further R&D and evaluation of new concepts. microwave or infrared radiation. In the meantime. CLOSING REMARKS A summary is provided on a selection of novel drying processes as well as trends in drying technologies. . Since many of the conventional drying technologies have reached or are close to maturity further influx of R&D is unlikely to yield major dividends in several of these areas..

Batch Drying Kinetics of Corn in a Novel Rotating Jet Spouted bed.S.K. T. G. Two Fluid Nozzles and their Application in Spray Drying of E-PVC. 1996. Lisbon. 2000.M.46. Mujumdar. pp.S. 1994.S.The Attacker' s Advantage. Kudra. 1996.Y. Marcel Dekker. Jumah. Mujumdar. Advanced Drying Technologies. pp. Gawrzynski. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Turbulence. pp..H. (Eds. 15. pp..S. A. Heat and Mass Transfer. B.. A. Mujumdar.S. Shah. 42. K. pp.S. Z... Mujumdar. Drying in a Pulsed-Fluid Bed with Relocated Gas Stream. 1996. Strumillo.. R.. Impinging Stream Dryers. Summit Books. Mujumdar. Mujumdar (Eds. Raghavan. 1986.. New York. Foster. 74. A.41-15. 1121-1172.S. New York. A. R. Pakowski. Turbulent Heat Transfer with a SOJIN. Full Containment Spray Drying. Devahastin.. Poland. P. Marcel Dekker.. P. J. 1995. 421-425. 21-42. Drying Technology-An International Journal.... Turner.. 2341-2348. 23. 14. 1999. Profiting from Innovation. Worrell. 537-574.M. in C.. Kudra. 1997. Marcel Dekker. in A. Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering.V. Hosseinalipour. 479-486. A. Mujumdar (Ed. Arora. New York.S. 2nd Edition.76 INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES ___________________________________________ REFERENCES Chinnock. Transactions of the ASAE. pp. New York. Masters. A Model for Superheated Steam Drying of Particles in an Impinging Stream Dryer. A. Innovation . Energy. 1992.R..) Mathematical Modeling and Numerical Techniques in Drying Technology.) Drying’96: Proceedings of the Tenth International Drying Symposium. pp. Lodz. Batch Drying of Grains in a Well-mixed DryerEffect of Continuous and Stepwise Change in Drying Air Temperature.S. Portugal. Z.). 1998. S. 1999. R. K.. . in I..S.) Handbook of Industrial Drying. W. Drying Technology-An International Journal... Blok. A. E. Glaser.. The Free Press. Mujumdar (Eds. de Beers.G. pp.. Page. R. 1361-1366. Long-Term Energy-Efficiency Improvements in the Paper and Board Industry. 17. New York. T. 539-566. R. pp. S. Guile. Howard..

INNOVATION IN DRYING TECHNIQUES 77 __________________________________________ . Impinging Streams and Their Applications in Drying. A Novel Rotary Dryer with Through Air Combination. 624-630.S. in C.) Drying’96: Proceedings of the Tenth International Drying Symposium. H-U. Pakowski. 1. pp.S. 1992. Y. pp. 1996. Elsevier... Z. Washington. The Remaflam Process.) Drying' 84. A. in A.. in A. Yamato. Lodz. Amsterdam. 1984. Schon. Poland. 350-364.Tamir. Mujumdar (Ed.) Drying' 92. 209-223. Vol. Mujumdar (Ed. Strumillo.. A. Mujumdar (Eds. F. von der Eltz. Hemisphere.S. pp.

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