Marshall, William R., Jr. University-Industry Research Program, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Drying of solids
- Classification of dryers
- Direct batch dryers
- Direct continuous dryers
- Indirect batch dryers
- Indirect continuous dryers
- Drying of gases
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An operation in which a liquid, usually water, is removed from a wet solid in equipment termed dryers. The use of heat to remove liquids distinguishes drying from mechanical dewatering methods such as centrifugation, decantation or sedimentation, and filtration, in which no change in phase from liquid to vapor is experienced. Drying is preferred to the term dehydration, which is sometimes used in connection with the drying of foods. Dehydration usually implies removal of water accompanied by a chemical change. Drying is a widespread operation in the chemical process industries. It is used for chemicals of all types, pharmaceuticals, biological materials, foods, detergents, wood, minerals, and industrial wastes. Drying processes may evaporate liquids at rates varying from only a few ounces per hour to 10 tons per hour in a single dryer. Drying temperatures may be as high as 1400°F (760°C), or as low −40°F (−40°C) in freeze drying. Dryers range in size from small cabinets to spray dryers with steel towers 100 ft (30 m) high and 30 ft (9 m) in diameter. The materials dried may be in the form of thin solutions, suspensions, slurries, pastes, granular materials, bulk objects, fibers, or sheets. Drying may be accomplished by convective heat transfer, by conduction from heated surfaces, by radiation, and by dielectric heating. In general, the removal of moisture from liquids (that is, the drying of liquids) and the drying of gases are classified as distillation processes and adsorption processes, respectively, and they are performed in special equipment usually termed distillation columns (for liquids) and adsorbers (for gases and liquids). Gases also may be dried by compression. See also: Adsorption; Distillation
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