Drying Of Solids

1. Drying times range from a few seconds in spray dryers to 1 hr or less in rotary dryers and up to several hours or even several days in tunnel shelf or belt dryers.

2. Continuous tray and belt dryers for granular material of natural size or pelleted to 3-15 mm have drying times in the range of 10-200min.

3. Rotary cylindrical dryers operate with superficial air velocities of 5-10 ft/sec, sometimes up to 35 ft/sec when the material is coarse. Residence times are 5-90min. Holdup of solid is 7-8%. An 85% free cross section is taken for design purposes. In countercurrent flow, the exit gas is 10-20 C above the solid; in parallel flow, the temperature of the exit solid is 100 C. Rotation speeds of about 4 rpm are used, but the product of rpm and diameter in feet is typically between 15 and 25.

4. Drum dryers for pastes and slurries operate with contact times of 3-12sec, produce flakes 1-3 mm thick with evaporation rates of 15-30kg/m2hr. Diameters are 1.5-5.0ft; the rotation rate is

2-10rpm. The greatest evaporative capacity is of the order of 3000lb/hr in commercial units.

5. Pneumatic conveying dryers normally take particles 1-3 mm dia but up to 10 mm when the moisture is mostly on the surface. Air velocities are 10-30 m/sec. Single pass residence times are 0.5-3.0 sec but with normal recycling the average residence time is brought up to 60 sec. Units in use range from 0.2 m dia by 1 m high to 0.3 m dia by 38 m long. Air requirement is several SCFM/lb of dry product/hr.

6. Fluidized bed dryers work best on particles of a few tenths of a mm dia, but up to 4 mm dia have been processed. Gas velocities of twice the minimum fluidization velocity are a safe prescription. In continuous operation, drying times of 1 -2 min are enough, but batch drying of some pharmaceutical products employs drying times of 2-3 hr.

7. Spray dryers: Surface moisture is removed in about 5 sec, and most drying is completed in less than 60 sec. Parallel flow of air and stock is most common. Atomizing nozzles have openings 0.012-0.15 in. and operate at pressures of 300-4000psi. Atomizing spray wheels rotate at speeds to 20,000 rpm with peripheral speeds of 250-600 ft/sec. With nozzles, the length to diameter ratio of the dryer is 4-5; with spray wheels, the ratio is 0.5-1.0. For the final design, the experts say, pilot tests in a unit of 2 m dia should be made.

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