Chemical Processing 101: Drying

Chemical processing 101: Drying

What Is Chemical Process of Drying?

Drying is the process of using evaporation to remove water from a solution, suspension, or other solid-liquid mixture. In addition to solids, the process can also be used to remove water from liquids or gases. Drying is used for many different industrial categories in chemical processing, including agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and paints.

There are different types of drying. Those include:

  • Convective/direct: directly applying hot air onto the material and drying externally
  • Contact/indirect: transferring heat through a wall or surface to dry the material
  • Dielectric: using radiation or radio frequencies to transfer heat into materials to dry them internally
  • Freeze: dehydration by means of freezing a material first, then lowering the pressure and adding heat to sublimate the ice
  • Natural air: drying through unheated forced air

What Is The Purpose of Drying?

Sometimes, materials have been subjected to wet screening or have otherwise had liquid added to them for easier processing. Drying, or dewatering, may be the next step to bring the material back to its original state or to create a specific structure for the final product. Additionally, if a waste product needs to be incinerated, drying can help prepare the material for proper disposal.

Drying is often the final step in the production process before selling, packaging, or warehousing a material. Adjustment of moisture levels in solid materials can be a crucial step in chemical processing and can help lower costs of transportation and storage by removing unnecessary liquid volume in a material. In pharmaceutical production, for example, drying is used to remove toxic residuals, ease handling of powder materials, and stabilize moisture sensitive materials.

Lastly, drying can be used to protect or sanitize materials. Removing moisture from certain materials, like wood, paper, or flax, can reduce the chances of mold or other decay. Most pathogens have very specific moisture requirements, and drying will prevent them from spoiling the materials.

What Tools Are Used For Drying?

Methods used for the drying process depend on the material and its final application. It’s important to make sure that the quality of material and products are protected as it goes through the drying process. Because some materials that need to be dried may be reactive or hazardous, it’s also crucial to minimize risks to workers and equipment during the drying process. That’s why there are many different methods used for drying, as well as a variety of equipment, which includes:

  • Vacuum dryers
  • Membrane dryers
  • Cactus dryers
  • Flash dryers
  • Fluid bed dryers

How Can Howard Industries Fulfill Your Drying Needs?

Howard industries can help with all of your chemical processing needs, and that includes drying! We can remove moisture content in all materials, including fine and specialty chemicals, resins, additives, industrial chemicals, and natural materials. We have a variety of equipment and will work with you to decide the best and most cost-efficient approach. Afterward, Howard Industries can further assist you with your blending or packaging requirements. Contact us for more information to see how we can be the one-stop shop for all your chemical processing needs!