Spray Drying of PEG6000 Suspension: Reaction Engineering Approach (REA) Modeling of Single Droplet Drying Kinetics

Belal Al Zaitone, Abdulrahim Al-Zahrani, Osama Ahmed, Usman Saeed, Aqeel Ahmad Taimoor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The spray drying technique is suitable for different kinds of liquid dispersions and can be easily optimized to produce solid particles with tailored properties. The spray drying technique is a complex process. As an example, it is difficult to track drying kinetics, shape, and morphological changes on the scale of a single droplet. To better understand the effect of drying process variables on dried particle formation, it is useful to observe the drying of single droplets. Fundamental processes, such as mass and heat transfer, can then be easily monitored and compared with theoretical models. Acoustic levitation enables droplet/particle suspension in the air without any mechanical contact. Experiments in the acoustic levitator can be used to mimic the drying process in the spray dryer. The drying kinetics of single droplets of PEG6000 into solid particles was studied. Droplets with an initial polymer concentration (PEG6000 aqueous solution of 5%, 10%, and 15% (w/w)) were investigated at different gas drying temperatures. The size of the droplet, moisture content, and the shape evolution of the droplet/particle during the drying process were studied. The experimental drying curves were compared with the Reaction Engineering Approach (REA). The REA models were shown to provide a very good agreement for drying behavior, with a relative error of about ±3% between the initial and predicted droplet mass. This model can be implemented into the large-scale modeling of spray drying using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

Original languageEnglish
Article number1365
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • acoustic levitation
  • microspheres
  • PEG
  • REA model
  • single droplet drying
  • solid dispersions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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