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Comment Processing & Handling

Electrostatic spray drying protects heat-sensitive products

By Chemical Engineering |

A spray-drying technology that applies an electrical charge to feedstock as it exits the atomizing nozzle allows significant reductions in processing temperature and can eliminate downstream processing steps. The charge application can improve control over particle morphology, lengthen shelflife of products and lower energy consumption. Fluid Air, a division of Spraying Systems Co. (Aurora, Ill.; www.fluidairinc.com), launched a new technology, known as PolarDry, in late 2016 after five years of internal development. The company is now testing PolarDry with products of potential users. These include heat-sensitive or easily oxidized compounds, such as proteins, active pharmaceutical ingredients, nutraceuticals, vitamins, antibiotics and chemicals. As feedstock slurry and atomizing gas pass through PolarDry’s nozzle, a charge is applied, so that each product-containing droplet has an electrical charge. Within the charged droplets, the molecules of high-polarity solvent (usually water) pick up a higher proportion of electrons and achieve a higher charge density, while the less polar product molecules pick up fewer electrons. The repulsive forces of like charges drive the solvent to the surface of the droplet, while the spray-drying…
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