Sei sulla pagina 1di 24

This article was downloaded by: [McGill University Library]

On: 07 December 2012, At: 01:29


Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954
Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,
UK

Drying Technology: An
International Journal
Publication details, including instructions for
authors and subscription information:
http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ldrt20

Energy Consumption of
Industrial Spray Dryers
a

C. G. J. Baker & K. A. McKenzie

Chemical Engineering Department, Kuwait


University, Kuwait
b

Drying Associates Limited, Harwell International


Business Centre, Oxfordshire, England
Version of record first published: 16 Feb 2007.

To cite this article: C. G. J. Baker & K. A. McKenzie (2005): Energy Consumption of


Industrial Spray Dryers, Drying Technology: An International Journal, 23:1-2, 365-386
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1081/DRT-200047665

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE


Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.tandfonline.com/page/termsand-conditions
This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.
Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan,
sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is
expressly forbidden.
The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any
representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to
date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae, and drug doses should be
independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable
for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection


with or arising out of the use of this material.

Drying Technology, 23: 365386, 2005


Copyright Q 2005 Taylor & Francis, Inc.
ISSN: 0737-3937 print/1532-2300 online
DOI: 10.1081/DRT-200047665

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

C. G. J. Baker
Chemical Engineering Department, Kuwait University, Kuwait

K. A. McKenzie
Drying Associates Limited, Harwell International Business Centre, Oxfordshire,
England

Abstract: In 2000, the U.K. governments Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme commissioned a survey to determine the energy consumption of spray
dryers within the chemicals, foods, and ceramics industries. The results of this survey, which included dryers having evaporation rates ranging from 0.1 to 12 t=h,
revealed values of the specific energy consumption Es varying from around 3 to
20 GJ=t water evaporated. The average for all dryers included in the survey was
4.87 GJ=t. The fuel-to-electricity consumption ratio averaged around 27. The data
obtained in the survey were interpreted with the aid of a newly developed model
that enabled the performance of a particular dryer to be compared with that of its
ideal adiabatic counterpart. Using the model, it was estimated that around 29%
of the energy supplied to the dryers included in the survey was being wasted.
Keywords: Dryer operation; Energy consumption; Industrial survey; Modeling;
Spray drying

INTRODUCTION
Spray dryers are widely used in a number of industries to convert liquid
feedstocks into dry solid products. They are available in a variety of
designs, which are generally tailored to the feed and product characteristics.[1] A basic spray dryer consists of a drying chamber containing an
atomizer (normally a wheel or pressure nozzle), which breaks the liquid
feedstock into a myriad of fine droplets. These come into contact with
hot drying air, resulting in rapid evaporation of the moisture. Flows
may be cocurrent, mixed, or, occasionally, countercurrent. Two- and

Correspondence: C. G. J. Baker, Chemical Engineering Department, Kuwait
University, P.O. Box 5969 Safat, 13060 Kuwait.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

366

Baker and Mckenzie

three-stage dryers are also widely used to produce agglomerated product


and process difficult feedstocks that cannot be dried in a single-stage
dryer. Examples include a spray dryer plus an external fluidized (or
vibrofluidized) bed, a spray dryer with an integral fluidized bed, a spray
dryer with an integral fluidized bed plus an external fluidized (or vibrofluidized) bed and, finally, a spray dryer with an integral drying belt.
For guidance on spray dryer selection, see Baker et al.[2]
Like most other dryers, spray dryers consume large quantities of
energy. In 2000, the U.K. governments Energy Efficiency Best Practice
Programme (EEBPP) commissioned an industrial survey to determine
the energy consumption of typical spray dryers and to identify possible
energy-saving measures. The results of this survey have been published
as Energy Consumption Guide 79, Spray Dryer Energy Consumption.[3] In the present article, the highlights of the survey results are
reported and interpreted in light of theory. Important insights developed
as a result of the study are described.

THE SURVEY
A confidential questionnaire was sent to selected U.K. companies in the
chemicals, ceramics, and food industries. This sought information relating to the nature of the feedstock and product, the type of dryer
employed, and its operating conditions. Usable returns were received
for 32 dryers. These are summarized in Table 1.
The survey included dryers evaporating a total of 67.8 t=h of water.
The heat input to these dryers was 333.3 GJ=h. Examples of most
commonly found spray dryer configurations were included in the survey.
The survey questionnaire requested data that would enable evaporative load and heat input to be estimated. The former was determined
from a knowledge of the production rate, the percent total solids in the
feed, and the product moisture content. These figures are normally
known quite accurately. Determination of the heat input can pose
problems, however, if the flow of fuel to the dryer is not metered. This
was found to be the case in over 25% of the dryers surveyed. In such
circumstances, it was necessary to determine heat input from an energy
balance over the heater. This method is often imprecise because of
inaccuracies associated with measuring the air flow. Where possible, both
calculation methods were employed. In some cases, these gave significantly different results. In these circumstances, and in cases where the
data yielded questionable results, the respondent was contacted to obtain
further information. In addition, ten site visits were made by one of
the authors in order to undertake simple dryer audits and to resolve
outstanding difficulties.

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

367

Table 1. Summary of the characteristics of the dryers covered in the survey


Industry sector

Ceramics

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

No. of dryers
Atomizers

7
Rotary, 3
Nozzle, 4
2-fluid nozzle, 0
Flow
Cocurrent, 4
Countercurrent, 0
Mixed, 3
Fuel
Steam, 0
Gas, 7
Oil, 0
No. of stages
1, 7
2, 0
3, 0
Range of evaporation 0.36.2
Rates, t=h
Range of total heat
123.1
inputs, GJ=h

Chemicals

Food

17
Rotary, 10
Nozzle, 6
2-fluid nozzle, 1
Cocurrent, 11
Countercurrent, 5
Mixed, 1
Steam, 0
Gas, 16
Oil, 1
1, 15
2, 2
3, 0
0.112.3

8
Rotary, 5
Nozzle, 3
2-fluid nozzle, 0
Cocurrent, 6
Countercurrent, 0
Mixed, 2
Steam, 4
Gas, 1
Oil, 3
1, 0
2, 7
3, 1
0.64.1

158.4

3.813.4

RESULTS AND ANALYSIS


In this section, the energy (fuel and electricity) consumption data derived
from the survey returns are reported. The fuel, which includes steam,
oil, and natural gas, is used to provide the thermal energy required for
moisture removal. The electricity is used to power the fan(s) and, where
appropriate, to drive wheel atomizers. It does not include any power
consumed in pre- and post-drying processes.

Fuel Consumption
The thermal efficiency of a dryer is commonly defined in terms of its specific energy consumption, Es, the quantity of heat required to evaporate
unit mass of water. Clearly, highly efficient dryers are characterized by
low values of specific energy consumption, and vice versa. In the present
survey, the average values of Es obtained for the dryers in the ceramics,
chemicals, and food sectors were 3.98, 5.41, and 4.88 GJ=t water evaporated, respectively. Students t tests showed that there was no significant
difference between these values at the 95% confidence level. The average
specific energy consumption for all dryers included in the survey was
4.87 GJ=t. In practice, values of Es for efficiently operated dryers are
rarely less than 3.03.5 GJ=t.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

368

Baker and Mckenzie

As noted above, it is desirable, wherever possible, to calculate Es


from both the reported fuel consumption and from an energy balance
across the heater. This provides greater confidence in the results as
measurement of the energy consumption of dryers is, at best, difficult
and is often hampered by inadequate and inaccurate instrumentation.
In a limited number of survey returns, sufficient data were provided that
enabled Es to be calculated by both methods. There was reasonable
agreement between the two sets of values, within 25% in most cases.
In some of the survey returns, rated as opposed to measured air flows
(required in the energy balance) were reported. Given that it is not
uncommon for a dryer to be operated under conditions well removed
from those stipulated in its design, this might be considered to be a possible source of error. From an examination of the individual points, however, this did not appear to be the case. As a matter of good practice,
though, it is better to rely on accurate measurements rather than historical design data.
Figure 1 shows that the heat input to the dryer Q increased essentially linearly with the evaporation rate Wev. In this and subsequent
figures, each point represents an individual dryer. The least-squares coefficients Q0 and m in the equation
Q Q0 mWev

for the single-stage dryer, multi-stage dryer, and composite data are given
in Table 2, together with the corresponding regression coefficients (R2).
In this equation, Q and Q0, the heat input at zero evaporation rate,
are in GJ=h and Wev is in t=h. Several conclusions can be deduced from
these results. First, there is noticeable scatter in the data. This is to be

Figure 1. Plot of heat input to dryer versus evaporation rate.

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

369

Table 2. Regression coefficients in Eq. (1)

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Single-stage dryers
Multi-stage dryers
All dryers

Q0, GJ=h

m, GJ=t

R2

1.18
3.06
1.35

4.55
3.56
4.49

0.898
0.753
0.889

anticipated given the diverse ranges of dryer types and sizes, operating
conditions, and products being dried. Despite this, a comparison of the
results suggests that, for a given evaporation rate, the energy consumption of most multi-stage dryers was somewhat lower than that of a comparable single-stage dryer (e.g., the difference is 12.9% at Wev 5 t=h).
This finding is consistent with practical experience (see, e.g., Masters[4]).
Finally, the results showed that energy is consumed even at zero
evaporation rate. This is because of the warm-up period at the start of
each production run during which water, not feedstock, is fed to the dryer
until it attains its steady-state operating conditions. As this represents a
nonproductive use of energy, its length, which is typically 2030 minutes,
should obviously be minimized. Most companies responding to the
survey were clearly aware of this.
As shown in Fig. 2, the specific energy consumption showed a small
but significant decrease with increasing evaporation rate over most of the
range. This can be explained by the fact that the heat loss from large
spray dryers is proportionately lower than that from smaller dryers
because the surface area of the drying chamber per unit volume decreases
with increasing size. Figure 2 also shows that a small number of dryers

Figure 2. Specific energy consumption as a function of evaporation rate.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

370

Baker and Mckenzie

operating at very low throughputs (< 1 t=h) exhibited uncharacteristically high values of specific energy consumptionoften as much as 45
times the norm. In some cases, there may be genuine process reasons
for this. However, an alternative explanation is that these dryers do
not warrant much attention because their energy consumption is low in
relative terms.
A plot of the values of specific energy consumption against inlet air
temperature obtained in the survey is shown in Fig. 3. As may be seen, no
conclusive trend can be observed. This was unexpected since, for spray
dryers, Masters[4] observed that Es should decrease with increasing inlet
air temperatures Ti and with increasing temperature difference
Ti  To across the dryer (To is the outlet air temperature). The probable
explanation for the apparent scatter in the data is as follows.
As shown in the theoretical analysis presented in the Appendix, the
specific energy consumption of an adiabatic dryer Es,a is given by
Es;a 0:001

Ho  Ha
Yo  Ya

in which H and Y denote enthalpy and humidity, respectively. Subscripts


o and a refer to the outlet air and ambient conditions. In this and subsequent equations, Es is expressed in GJ=t. The relationship between
Es,a and temperature is not immediately obvious from Eq. (2) as Ho is
a function of both To and Yo. In other words, Yo must be specified before
the dependence of Es,a upon To, and hence Ti, can be determined.

Figure 3. Specific energy consumption as a function of inlet air temperature.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

371

Figure 4. Calculation procedure to illustrate dependency of specific energy


consumption on temperature and humidity.

A series of calculations was undertaken to illustrate this point. In


these, Es,a was determined as a function of Ti and To  Ti for specified
values of DTo To  Tdp ; the difference between the temperature of the
outlet air and its dewpoint. The calculation procedure is illustrated schematically in Fig. 4. The significance of maintaining DTo constant is discussed below.
Some typical results are shown in Fig. 5, in which Es,a is plotted
against Ti and Ti  To for two values of DTo namely 20C and 40C.
The following trends can be observed: (a) for a given DTo , Es,a decreases
as Ti increases; (b) for a given DTo , Es,a decreases as the temperature drop
across the dryer Ti  To increases; (c) at a given inlet air temperature Ti,
Es,a decreases as DTo decreases.
Observation (a) is consistent with Masters[4] assertion that Es
decreases with increasing inlet air temperature. However, this statement

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

372

Baker and Mckenzie

Figure 5. Dependence of specific energy consumption on operating conditions


for an adiabatic dryer.

is conditional upon the requirement that DTo remains constant. If DTo


increases as Ti increases, it is quite possible for the reverse trend to be
observed. Masters presented a plot of specific energy consumption
against inlet air temperature for a 50% feed solids inorganic pigment,
which was dried to a constant product moisture content of 0.5%. This
plot is very similar in shape to the Es,a versus Ti plots shown in Fig. 5.
For cocurrent spray dryers at least, this suggests that in order to maintain
the outlet moisture content constant when the operating conditions are
changed, it may merely be necessary to keep DTo constant.
Observation (b) is also consistent with Masters statement that
specific energy consumption is reduced by increasing the temperature
difference Ti  To across the dryer. Again, this is subject to the qualification that DTo should be maintained constant. Observation (c), that for
a given inlet air temperature specific energy consumption decreases
progressively as DTo decreases, is consistent with Masters description
of an ideal dryer as one that operates with saturated outlet air. He did
not specifically discuss the effect of DTo on Es, though. A possible explanation for this is that, in practice, it may not be possible to vary DTo without changing the outlet moisture content of the product. In any event, a
minimum value of DTo 10 C should be stipulated in order to prevent
condensation in the ductwork and gas-cleaning equipment downstream

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

373

of the dryer. It is of interest to note that the values of DTo calculated from
the survey data were much higher, namely 20109C. Hence the scatter in
Fig. 3 may arise from variations in DTo .
In the calculations described above, Ti was calculated from the
following equation, which is also derived in the Appendix:

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Ti

Cso To kYo  Yi
Csi

Here, Ya was taken as 0.005 kg=kg. This equation suggests that, for adiabatic dryers at least, there should be a unique relationship between Ti
and To provided that Yo is specified. In practice, dryers are not adiabatic
and are operated over a wide range of exhaust air humidities; the dewpoint
of the exhaust air recorded in the survey varied from 31 to 71C. vant
Land[5] analyzed published and unpublished spray dryer operating data
from a variety of sources and obtained the following empirical correlation:
To 88:39 log10 Ti  112:35

which fitted the 65 data sets with a correlation coefficient R2 of 0.727. This
correlation was tested against the data obtained in the present survey.
The points did scatter around Eq. (4) but the correlation coefficient
(R2 0.136) was much lower than that obtained by vant Land.
Equation (5), derived in the Appendix, indicates that specific energy
consumption of a nonadiabatic dryer is not fixed in the absolute sense but
rather that it depends on the temperature and humidity of the outlet air
and the heat loss:




To =1  g  Ta
Y o = 1  g  Y a
Es 0:001Cpg
0:001k
5
Yo  Ya
Yo  Ya
In this equation, g is termed the thermal loss factor of the dryer, which is
defined as:
g

Ql
GHi

where Ql is the heat loss, G is the dry-basis air flow rate, and Hi is the
enthalpy of the inlet air. If the dryer is adiabatic, g 0 and Eq. (5)
reduces to:


To  Ta
Es;a 0:001Cpg
0:001k
7
Yo  Ya
As discussed in the Appendix, this equation is equivalent to a simplified
version of an expression derived by Keey[6] for the heat demand of an
ideal dryer incorporating exhaust air recycle.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

374

Baker and Mckenzie

Figure 6. Plot of specific energy consumption against To  Ta =Yo  Ya :

Equations (5)(7) can be used to interpret the data obtained in the


survey. For an adiabatic dryer, it follows from Eq. (7) that a plot of
Es,a against To  Ta =Yo  Ya should be linear with a slope of Cpg
and intercept of k. This plot can be used as a baseline against which
the performance of nonadiabatic dryers can be judged.
Figure 6 shows the data obtained in the present survey plotted as
specific energy consumption against To  Ta =Yo  Ya ; in which Ta
was taken as 25C and Ya, as before, as 0.005 kg=kg. As would be
expected, most of the points are scattered above the straight line, Eq.
(7), which depicts the performance of an ideal adiabatic dryer. Three of
the points can be seen to lie slightly below the line, which is, of course,
not physically possible. In these particular cases, there was considerable
uncertainty in the reported survey data, which could not be resolved
without carrying out a full dryer audit. This was beyond the scope of
the present study.
Equation (5) was employed to calculate the thermal loss factors
from the data shown in Fig. 6. The Solver function within Microsoft
Excel 2000 was used for this purpose. For the single-stage dryers, the
values of g ranged from 0.094 to 0.738 (mean 0.306); those for the
multi-stage dryers ranged from 0.112 to 0.147 (mean 0.127). The three
anomalous data points referred to above yielded values of g that were
marginally less than zero and were neglected in this and subsequent
analyses.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

375

In order to achieve a specified outlet moisture content from a singlestage dryer, it is necessary to operate it in such a manner that To is
relatively high and=or Yo is relatively low. Under these circumstances,
the difference between the temperature and dewpoint of the outlet air
DTo is relatively high. As shown in Fig. 5, a high specific energy consumption would be anticipated under these conditions. In contrast, in
multi-stage dryers, it is not necessary (or even desirable) to achieve a
particularly low product moisture content in the first stage. Thus, the
spray dryer can be operated more efficiently with its outlet air much closer to saturation. Likewise, the second and third (if present) stages can
also be operated more efficiently. The overall result is a net reduction
in energy consumption. The present results confirmed that, as would be
expected, the mean value of g was lower for multi-stage dryers than for
single-stage dryers. However, a Students t test showed, somewhat surprisingly, that there was no significant difference between the two means
at the 95% confidence level. This indicates that, on the basis of the
present data, it cannot be concluded that multi-stage spray dryers are
significantly more efficient in practice than their single-stage counterparts. This is probably due to the wide scatter in the data.
Attempts were made to correlate the thermal loss factor with the inlet
and outlet temperatures and with the evaporation rate. The first two
were unsuccessful, but some limited success was achieved in the third
case. Figure 7 shows that g decreased with Wev, which can be anticipated
as a result of the effect of scale discussed above. However, there was
considerable scatter about the logarithmic trendline, which exhibited
the best fit to the data.
We can define an alternative measure of dryer efficiency, excess
specific energy consumption, Es,x by the following equation:
Es;x Es  Es;a

in which Es is the measured value and Es,a is calculated from Eq. (7).
Thus, Es,x is a measure of the wasted energy, namely the energy consumed over and above that required by an ideal adiabatic dryer operating
at the same exhaust air temperature and humidity. Figure 8 illustrates a
histogram of the excess specific energy consumptions of the dryers
included in the survey. As may be seen in a relatively large number of
cases Es,x was very small (< 0.1 GJ=t). These dryers were operating
close to peak efficiency and hence the energy-saving potential in these
cases is small. However, other dryers can be seen to exhibit much
larger values of Es,x and thus would be prime targets for further
investigation.
Calculations showed that for the 32 dryers included in the survey,
approximately 96.7 GJ=h or 29% of the total heat input is wasted.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

376

Baker and Mckenzie

Figure 7. Plot of thermal loss factor against evaporation rate.

Assuming 5000 h=y operation and a fuel cost of 2=GJ, the cost of this
wasted energy is around 965,000. Given that many of the dryers
surveyed operate close to ideality (Fig. 8), it can be assumed that it should
be possible to eliminate much of this waste.
Two capital-intensive techniques for reducing the energy consumption
of convective dryers are to recover heat from the exhaust air and to use a
source of process waste heat to raise the temperature of the inlet air. None
of the dryers included in the survey employed exhaust air heat recovery.
However, three examples of waste process heat recovery were cited.
Electric Power Consumption
Data on the power consumption of fans and wheel atomizers were also
collected during the course of the survey. A total of 23 returns included
information on fan power. In 14 cases, the dryer was fitted with both inlet
and outlet fans. This number included all six multi-stage dryers and eight
single-stage dryers. In the remaining nine cases, all single-stage dryers,

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

377

Figure 8. Distribution of excess specific energy consumption values for the dryers
included in the survey.

only an outlet fan was fitted. Fan power Ef (kW) can be calculated from
the following relation derived from that given in Masters:[7]
Ef

Gm DP
35:5qa ef

Here Gm is the mass flow rate of the air (including its associated moisture)
in t=h, qa is the density of the humid air in kg=m3, DP is the outlet pressure in mbar, and ef is the fan efficiency. A plot of fan power versus air
flow rate is shown in Figure 9. As would be anticipated from Eq. (9),
the plot was essentially linear but, again, there is considerable scatter in
the data. This is hardly surprising given the different designs and duties
encountered in the survey. The equation of the least-squares lines is:
Ef 2:42Gm

R2 0:881

10

Here, Ef is in kW and Gm is in t=h.


Assuming a fan efficiency of 70%, it follows from Eqs. (9) and (10)
that the average pressure drop across the drying systems was around 57
mbar. This is quite plausible given that the pressure drops across a cyclone and a fabric filter alone are typically 520 and 20 mbar respectively.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

378

Baker and Mckenzie

Figure 9. Fan power as a function of air flow rate.

Masters[8] quotes the following equation for the theoretical net power
consumption Ew (kW) for vaned-wheel atomizers:
Ew 3:8  107 FL N 2 2d 2  dd2

11

Here, FL is the liquid feedrate (t=h); N is the rotational speed in r.p.m.; d


is the disc, wheel, cup, or bowl diameter of the rotary atomizer (m); and

Figure 10. Atomizer power as a function of feed rate.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

379

Figure 11. Distribution of heat-to-power ratios of dryers included in the survey.

dd is liquid distributor diameter (m). Equation (11) suggests that Ew


should be proportional to FL provided that the dependence of N, d,
and dd upon FL are not too large. Figure 10, in which atomizer power
is plotted against feed rate, confirms this to be a reasonable assumption,
despite the considerable scatter in the data. The equation of the linear
least-squares line is
Ew 8:40FL

R2 0:528

12

Finally, Fig. 11 shows a histogram of the heat-to-electric power ratios for


the 25 dryers for which this information was supplied. The average value
obtained in the survey was around 27. If we assume a 33% efficiency in
generation and transmission of electricity to its point of use, this ratio is
equivalent to around 8.9 on a primary fuel basis.

DISCUSSION
Dryers are major consumers of energy on a global scale and are thus
significant contributors to the production of greenhouse gases. The most
recently published estimates for the United Kingdom,[9] for example,
indicate that approximately 348.6 PJ is expended in drying operations.

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

380

Baker and Mckenzie

This is equivalent to 17.7% of the countrys total industrial energy


consumption. Moreover, historical trends dating back to the 1970s indicate that this percentage is progressively increasing. As a result, dryers
are prime targets in many energy conservation schemes.
The highlights of the spray-dryer energy consumption survey
described in this paper have been published as Energy Consumption
Guide 79[3] by the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme. This
and similar guides are widely disseminated to industry and provide valuable basic data against which the performance of individual dryers can be
benchmarked. The guides also describe cost-effective means of reducing
energy consumption and, albeit empirical, techniques for estimating
possible energy and monetary savings.
The survey provided a number of valuable insights into the energy consumption of spray dryers. As might be anticipated, there was a wide variation in the performance of individual dryers. However, there was no
significant difference at the 95% confidence level in the energy consumption
of spray dryers in the ceramics, chemicals, and food sectors. Although a significant number of dryers were operating as close to ideality as is practically
feasible, others were clearly consuming significantly larger quantities of
energy than needed. As a group, the smaller dryers with an evaporation rate
of less than 1 t=h were particularly prominent in this respect, exhibiting specific energy consumptions several times the norm. Possible explanations
include insufficient insulation and lack of attention to maintenance. The
remaining dryers lay between these two extremes.
There are perhaps two underlying reasons why dryers are not operated as efficiently as they might be. First, they are not equipped with sufficient instrumentation to facilitate ongoing measurement of specific
energy consumption, which is fundamental to quantifying the ongoing
performance of the dryer. As indicated above, the fuel consumption of
more than 25% of the dryers surveyed was not metered. Moreover, about
half the respondents indicated either that they did not carry out any
energy-use measurements or failed to answer that particular question.
In the remaining responses, the answers to the question How often
are energy-use measurements carried out? ranged from ongoing to
annually. In most cases, however, the dryers were subjected to a visual
inspection at more frequent intervals. These statistics clearly suggest
that there is considerable scope for improved monitoring of dryer
performance.
The second reason encountered in practice is interpreting the
fuel-consumption data once it has been obtained. In this article; a more
rigorous technique for estimating possible savings is proposed. As illustrated by Eq. (5) and Fig. 6, the theoretical minimum specific energy
consumption Es,a is not constant but is dependent on the exhaust air
temperaturehumidity combination required to achieve the desired

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

381

product moisture content. The present model establishes a definable


benchmark for a given dryer to be determined and permits quantitative
deviations from this benchmark to be calculated. As indicated above,
both the thermal loss factor g and the excess specific energy consumption
Es,x should be as close as possible to zero. The results obtained in the
survey show that this goal is certainly attainable.
The values of g and Es,x are measures of how efficiently (or otherwise) a
particular dryer is performing. Although they will not necessarily indicate
what measures are required to reduce fuel consumption, they do quantify
the cost effectiveness of any possible remedial action and indicate whether
a detailed dryer energy audit[10] is likely to be worthwhile.

CONCLUSIONS
The survey results described in this artcile provide a useful basis for assessing the performance of industrial spray dryers. Energy Consumption
Guide 79[3] describes practical methods for benchmarking the energy
use of a given dryer against typical industry data and suggests a number
of techniques for implementing energy savings.
The results obtained in the survey were interpreted in the light of a
model that enabled the performance of a particular dryer to be compared
with that of its adiabatic counterpart. This permits possible energy
savings to be quantified in a more soundly based manner than has been
possible in the past.

NOMENCLATURE
a
b
c
Cs
Cpg
d
dd
Ef
Es
Es;a
Es;x
Ew
F
FL
G

coefficient in Eq. (A10)


coefficient in Eq. (A10)
coefficient in Eq. (A10)
humid heat, kJ=kgK
specific heat of air, kJ=kgK
diameter of rotary atomizer, m
diameter of liquid distributor, m
fan power, kW
specific energy consumption, GJ=t
specific energy consumption of adiabatic dryer, GJ=t
excess specific energy consumption, GJ=t
atomizer power, kW
feed rate (dry basis), kg=s
feed rate (wet basis), kg=s
mass flow rate of dry air, kg=s

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

382

Gm
h
H
m
N
Pa
Pdp
Q
Ql
Q0l
Q0
r
R2
T
Tref
Wev
Y

Baker and Mckenzie

mass flow rate of air and associated moisture, kg=s


enthalpy of feed or product, kJ=kg
enthalpy of air, kJ=kg
coefficient in Eq. (1)
rotational speed of atomizer, rpm
atmospheric pressure, kPa
vapor pressure of water at the dewpoint, kPa
heat input to dryer, kW (or GJ=h)
effective heat loss, kW
heat loss, kW
heat input to dryer at zero evaporation rate kW (or GJ=h)
fraction of exhaust air recycled to dryer inlet
correlation coefficient
temperature, K (or C)
reference temperature, K (or C)
evaporation rate, t=h
humidity, kg=kg

Greek Letters
DP
pressure drop, mbar
DTo difference between temperature and dewpoint
of outlet air, K (or C)
g
thermal loss factor
ef
fan efficiency
k
latent heat of vaporization at Tref, kJ=kg
qa
density of air, kg=m3
Subscripts
a
ambient conditions
i
inlet air conditions
o
outlet air conditions

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors gratefully acknowledge the permission of the management of
the U.K. governments Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme to
publish this work. The findings in this article represent the views of the
authors and are not necessarily those of the EEBPP. Particular thanks
are due to Mr. P. McKinney, Mr. M. Morrell, and Ms. K. Rushton from
the EEBPP for their valuable support and comments and to members of
the projects Sector Advisory Group (Dr. K. Abhinava of Avecia Ltd.,
Mr. A. J. Partridge of Niro Limited, and Mr. T. Taylor of Unilever
plc) for their specialist advice. Finally, particular thanks are due to each
of the companies that participated in the survey.

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

383

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

REFERENCES
1. Masters, K. Spray Drying in Practice; SprayDryConsult Intl.: Copenhagen,
2002.
2. Baker, C.G.J.; Lababidi, H.M.S.; Masters, K. A fuzzy expert system for the
selection of spray-drying equipment. Drying Technology. [In press] 2004.
3. EEBBP. Spray dryer energy consumption; Energy Consumption Guide 79,
Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme, 2003. Available on the EEBPP
website at www.energy-efficiency.gov.uk.
4. Masters, K. Spray Drying Handbook; Longman: London, 1985a; Chapter 3.
5. vant Land, C.M. Industrial Drying Equipmen. Selection and Application;
Marcel Dekker: New York, 1991.
6. Keey, R.B. Drying of Loose and Particulate Materials; Hemisphere: New
York, 1992; 261266.
7. Masters, K. Spray Drying Handbook; Longman: London, 1985b; Chapter 12.
8. Masters, K. Spray Drying Handbook; Longman: London, 1985c; Chapter 6.
9. Gilmour, J.E.; Oliver, T.N.; Jay, S. Energy Use for Drying Processes: The Potential Benefits of Airless Drying. In Drying98, Akritidis, A., Marinos-Kouris,
C.A., Saravacos, G.D, Eds.; Thessaloniki, Greece, 1998; Vol. A, 573580.
10. Bahu, R.E.; Baker, C.G.J.; Reay, D. Energy balances on industrial dryersA
route to fuel conservation. J. Separ. Process Tech. 1983, 4, 2328.

APPENDIX: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND


Consider a typical convective dryer such as, for example, a spray dryer.
A heat balance over the dryer yields:
Fhi GHi Fho GHo Q0l

A1

where Q0l is the heat loss and the other symbols have their normal meaning. The enthalpy of a humid gas is defined as
H Cs T  T Y k

A2

in which Cs Cpg YCpv is the humid heat of the air and k the latent
heat of water at the reference temperature Tref (0C in this case).
Most of the heat supplied to convective dryers leaves via the exhaust
air stream. In a truly adiabatic dryer, h  hi 0 as Hi Ho (see Eq.
[A6] below) and Q0l 0. In a nonadiabatic dryer, F ho  hi and Q0l will,
in any event, normally be relatively small compared to GHi and GHo. For
convenience, they will be lumped together into a single term as follows:
Ql F ho  hi Q0l

A3

Equation (A1) may therefore be written:


GHi GHo gGHi

A4

384

Baker and Mckenzie

in which g, which is subsequently referred to as the thermal loss factor,


is given by
g

Ql
GHi

A5

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Adiabatic Dryers
We will first consider an adiabatic dryer for which g 0: In these circumstances, the air flowing through the dryer follows an adiabatic saturation
line on a psychrometric chart and Eq. (A4) reduces to
Hi Ho

A6

The heat supplied to the dryer is:


Qi G Hi  Ha

A7

The quantity of moisture evaporated by the dryer is GYo  Yi : The


specific energy consumption of an adiabatic dryer Es,a is therefore
Es;a 0:001

G H i  H a
Hi  Ha
0:001
G Yo  Yi
Yo  Yi

A8

Assuming that Yi Ya , which is strictly true only for indirectly heated


dryers, it follows from Eqs. (A6) and (A8) that
Es;a 0:001

Ho  Ha
Yo  Ya

Substituting for Ho and Ha from Eq. (A2):




To  Ta
Es;a 0:001Cpg
0:001k
Yo  Ya

Keey[6] derived an expression for the ideal energy demand of a perfectly insulated dryer with exhaust air recycle. He assumed that the solids
were non-hygroscopic and remained essentially at their inlet temperature
throughout the drying process. Using the symbols and units employed in
the present study, this expression may be written:


Csa 1  rTo  Ta
Es;a 0:001k 1
A9
Csi Ti  To
where r is the fraction of exhaust air recycled to the dryer inlet. In the
present case, there is no recycle and r 0. Under these conditions,

Energy Consumption of Industrial Spray Dryers

385

Csa  Csi  Cpg and Eq. (A9) reduces to:


Es;a



To  Ta
0:001k 1
Ti  To

A10

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Under adiabatic conditions, it follows from Eq. (A6) that


Cpg To  Tref Yo k Cpg Ti  Tref Ya k
and hence that
Ti  To

k
Y o  Y a
Cpg

A11

Eliminating Ti  To between Eqs. (A10) and (A11) yields Eq. (7). This
expression is therefore equivalent to that derived by Keey (1992) in the
case in which there is no exhaust air recirculation.
A series of calculations (described in the main body of the text) was
undertaken in which Es,a was determined as a function of Ti and To  Ti
for specified values of DTo To  Tdp , the difference between the
temperature of the outlet air and its dewpoint. The humidity of the outlet
air was calculated from the equation:
Yo

18:02=29:97Pdp
Pa  Pdp

A12

in which Pa is atmospheric pressure and Pdp is the vapor pressure of water


at the specified dewpoint. The latter was determined from the Antoine
equation:


Pdp

b
0:1332 exp a 
Tdp  c


A13

in which a 18:3036, b 3816:44, and c 46:13. Here, pdp is in kPa and


Tdp is in K. Finally, Ti was calculated from the relation:
Ti

Cso To kYo  Yi
Csi

which follows directly from the condition that Hi Ho given that


Tref 0 C in the present analysis.

386

Baker and Mckenzie

Nonadiabatic Dryers
We will now consider the more general case of a nonadiabatic dryer.
Here, g 6 0. Under these conditions, Eq. (A4) yields Hi Ho =1  g:
Hence, from Eq. (A8):

Downloaded by [McGill University Library] at 01:29 07 December 2012

Es 0:001

H o = 1  g  H a
Yo  Ya

Substituting for Ho and Ha and neglecting second-order terms yields






To =1  g  Ta
Yo =1  g  Ya
Es 0:001Cpg
0:001k
5
Yo  Ya
Yo  Ya
If the dryer is adiabatic, g 0 and Eq. (5) reduces to Eq. (7) derived
above.