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Can I use a Spray Dryer by myself?

At first look, a Spray Dryer can seem like it requires a team to use. However, LabPlant UK’s Spray Dryer’s are suitable for solo use, saving Research and Development centres time and energy.

Labplant UK is an internationally renowned laboratory equipment manufacturer. In 2022 they won “most reliable laboratory spray dryer manufacturer” in the Northern Enterprise awards, solidifying their reputation as world leaders in quality.

Their Spray Dryers are complemented with glassware and accessories, so there’s no need to buy any additional Spray Drying accessories after purchase.

 

What is a Spray Dryer?

A Spray Dryer is a machine that allows users to convert liquid to dry powder, through spray drying. This is used with hot gas within a drying chamber. The exposure of the droplets within the chamber causes evaporation, leaving behind solid particles. During the spray drying process, heat is transferred from the hot air into solution droplets causing vaporisation.

Methodology

To start with, the liquid of choice is fed through a tube called the peristaltic pump to the Atomiser. This is what mixes the liquid with compressed air and creates an Atomised spray, moving forward this is then sprayed into the drying chamber where there is a flow of hot air. The moisture is eventually evaporated from the droplets leaving solid particles.

These particles are then blown through the spray dryer into the Cyclone, which is a collecting device. The Cyclone creates a vortex, where the particles are pushed to the side and down. At the bottom of the Cyclone sits a collection bottle where all the powdered particles are collected for later use. The scientific processes that occur during Spray Drying include particle formation, evaporation, and heat and mass transfer.

What can I Spray Dry by myself?

Spray Dryers are efficient research tools, and can be used by one person. It’s important to note that Spray Dryers are designed as research tools, so practice, in addition to trial, error and refining, is essential when working out the most compatible method for your liquid solution.

Here’s a quick review of the start of the process:

“I’m able to change the inlet temperature and exhaust temperature of the Spray Dryer. This is done by changing the temperature either up or down. I was also able to switch the Spray dryer on-which is as simplistic as you might think. On the Dryer there are two green buttons – one being the blower and one being the heater. Both buttons need to be switched on allowing the inlet and exhaust temperature to change. Once the Dryer had been set up I turned the dial on the pump speed all the way (to 10) allowing the liquid to pass up through the tube quickly. Also, I turned on the pump and auto-locking on. After the liquid had gone up a quarter of the way through the tube I turned the dial to three so it became slower and able to react better.”

 

What items can be Spray Dryed?

Many substances can be used during the Spray Drying process. Food and chemical applications can be administered to Spray Dryers. Non-dusting powders can be created from this process, which are crucial for processing specific hazardous products such as animal feeds or dyes. Many heat-sensitive items can be spray-dried at relatively high inlet temperatures. The majority of the particles have spherical shapes, which allows fluid-like flow properties. This makes many downstream operations such as packing, filtering, and handling easier and more cost-effective.

One main effect of the LabPlant spray dryers is that the heat and mass transfer during drying occurs in the air and vapour films surrounding the droplet. This protective envelope of vapour keeps the particles at a saturation temperature. The temperature of the solids will not reach the dryer’s outer temperature.

As a result, many heat-sensitive products can be Spray Dryed at relatively high inlet temperatures. This method is used mainly because it dries a product faster than other methods, therefore it’s highly recommended to those looking to level up their Spray Drying process.

Summary

Altogether a spray dryer is very effective as they empower quality research, offering multiple benefits to research and development facilities.

You can operate a LabPlant UK Spray Dryer solo, as the machine is designed to be an autonomous research tool. With convenience in mind, the set-up is an all-in-one solution, with only the glassware needing to be fitted after delivery. LabPlant Spray Dryers can run autonomously, freeing up your hands to work on other projects. For a quote, or more advice on how best to run your LabPlant Spray Dryer, contact us directly at sales@labplantuk.com

If you’re overseas, please contact us for a list of our distributors, or find our American ones here, or our ones for Asia, here.