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Improving flow stability in small-scale spray dryers


The aim of this project is to improve the degree of flow stability in small-scale spray dryers. 


Professor Timothy Langrish.

Research location

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Program type



Our work in assessing and controlling flow instabilities in large-scale dryers used in the dairy industry have shown that reducing these instabilities improves process yields due to lower deposition of particles on walls.  However, small-scale spray dryers are used in pharmaceutical industries, and these smaller-scale dryers have laminar or transitional flows rather than the turbulent flows in larger-scale dryers.  The two scales of dryer therefore have fundamentally different flow regimes, and the main scientific questions concern how, to what extent and why these different flow regimes affect the mechanisms, magnitudes and control measures in small-scale and large-scale dryers.  Specifically, these main scientific questions include:  (i) Assessing to what extent the magnitude and types of flow instabilities are different in small-scale and large-scale spray dryers; (ii) Determining how and why the mechanisms of the flow instabilities differ in the two dryer scales; and (iii) Identifying how the methods for reducing flow instabilities, such as changing the inlet levels of swirl and turbulence, might be implemented differently in the two scales of dryers.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 611

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