Modeling the drying of multicomponent droplet dispersions
Spray drying is a widely adopted technology in food industry to make stable agglomerated powders. Despite its widespread use, the operation and design of spray dryers is usually obtained by trial-and-error approaches as the underlying physical phenomena related to particle morphology and agglomeration behavior are not well understood.
In an effort to gain better understanding of spray drying processes a numerical model of drying on a single droplet scale will be developed. The model should be able to predict the droplet drying rate, the morphological changes, and the agglomeration probability. The approach chosen is multidisciplinary and includes experimental work involving well-defined droplet drying and agglomeration studies, soft matter theory development and numerical modeling.
Connecting the insights on internal structure and morphology to stickiness and agglomeration behavior allows us to develop scaling rules for agglomeration behavior under industrially relevant conditions. The scaling rules can then be applied by the participating industrial users to better steer powder functionality while decreasing energy consumption and develop next generation compact spray dryers.