Study of the drying behavior of high load multiphase droplets in an acoustic levitator at high temperature conditions

Rosa Mondragon, Leonor Hernandez, J. Enrique Julia, Juan Carlos Jarque, Sergio Chiva, Belal Zaitone, Cameron Tropea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Experimental data on the drying behavior of suspension droplets is limited, despite its importance in industrial applications for material processing, chemical or the food industry involving spray dryers. This fact is particularly significant for high load and temperature conditions, as found in such industrial applications. In this work, the drying behavior of acoustically levitated multiphase droplets has been experimentally investigated. The acoustic tube levitator has been modified in order to allow experiments to be performed at high temperature conditions. The flow rate, temperature and relative humidity of this air stream can be controlled by an air conditioning system. A CMOS camera and a back-light illumination system are used to measure the droplet cross-sectional area and vertical position of the droplet during the drying process. The experiments have been performed using water-glass particle suspensions. The glass particles have a mean particle size and relative density of 13γm and 2.5, respectively. The effect of the air temperature (60°C<T<120°C), initial volume of the droplet (0.05γl<V0<0.7γl), initial solid mass load (0.01<YS<0.5) and relative humidity of the air (0.05<HR<0.45) on the mean porosity of the grain, first drying period duration and liquid evaporation rate has been analyzed by means of a parametric screening matrix and also by means of a central composite design (CCD) experimental design. The most important parameters to be considered for the porosity and the drying behavior in the range of variables analyzed are the initial solid mass load and the initial droplet volume. The relative humidity of the air exerts a moderate influence on the drying behavior of the droplet and the temperature has only a very low impact on the mean porosity. In addition, particular attention should be given to the drying behavior of small droplets, which result in a very low mean porosity values for high solid mass loads. The CCD confirms that the initial droplet volume, the solid mass load and their interaction exert significant influence on the three responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2734-2744
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic levitator
  • Drying kinetics
  • Mass transfer
  • Multiphase droplet
  • Spray drying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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