How Spray Dryer Feed Solids Affect Dryer Capacity & Energy Utilization

Taking a look at your dryer feed solids may show ways to improve and optimize your spray dryer capacity and efficiency.

I was just visiting another dairy processor this week who spray dries non-fat milk powder. They have a spray dryer from the 1980s, that although old, is in decent operating condition.

The client asked about areas where they could improve and optimize their operations.

It immediately became evident that they were producing concentrate from their evaporator at 47% total solids, where 50% total solids is much more typical. When we asked about their evaporator, they said that they can easily produce 50% total solids, but that they had settled at 47% total solids for ‘making things easy.’

We then discussed the cost of this to the plant and the potential opportunity loss of dryer capacity.

Meet The Engineer

Jim Kent

Jim Kent

Business Development Manager

If the skim milk concentrate were to be run to 50% total solids to the dryer, this would require 12% less water evaporation and the same throughput could be run with 12% less airflow. If sustainability is important, this is also a 12% smaller carbon footprint.

Reducing the airflow would lead to a 12% reduction in energy usage by the dryer or about 3,000,000 btu/hr in their case. Depending on the local gas costs this could be $75,000 to $200,000 per year in savings.

Conversely, if you want to stay at the same airflow, then you could gain 12% more dryer capacity at the same temperatures using the same amount of energy as before.

Even the smallest change in solids, in this case 3%, can have a measurable and significant effect on your operations—in this case 12%. It always pays to try to operate at the highest solids content in your spray dryer feed that still produces a satisfactory powder for your customers.

Want to Improve Your Spray Dryer Capacity & Efficiency?

Is it time for an assessment to take a look at issues like spray dryer capacity and efficiency? Caloris can provide service support for units from many manufacturers. Call us at 410-822-6900 or to arrange for a process assessment at your facility.


About Caloris

Caloris transforms process systems design for the better with unexpected, future-focused solutions that solve real operational problems. We engineer efficient, dependable and productive solutions that also improve environmental sustainability where practical. Designed with the end user in mind to drive plant productivity. Caloris offers evaporation, membrane filtration and spray drying process systems for food and dairy industries, as well as for water reuse and wastewater treatment applications. Both Caloris’ custom and pre-engineered packaged systems are designed to meet our customers’ specific concentration/purification needs utilizing the most cost effective and energy efficient technologies available. Whether concentrating dairy, food or juice products at a high-volume production facility, or processing industrial wastewaters to reduce transportation and treatment costs and recover re-usable water, Caloris provides a range of options and technologies.