Drying Desk: What pilot-plant drying tests can tell you
Columnist John J. Walsh explains what pilot-plant drying tests can tell you.
Are you in the process of selecting new equipment for a drying application? Once you've narrowed the field to two or three dryer types, you can obtain budgetary design quotations for the dryers from several dryer manufacturers and weigh economic factors for each dryer. Then, to select the right dryer from among the finalists, you need to conduct pilot-plant drying tests (that is, short-run, continuous tests in small, or pilot-scale, dryers) at the manufacturers’ in-house labs. The pilot-plant tests will determine not only how your feed must be prepared before drying, but how your product quality will be affected by variations in drying parameters. The test results can also help you lay the groundwork for determining the correct dryer size for your application (see more information on this in the September 2002 “Drying Desk” column, page 58).