Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Atomizers in spray dryers: a review

Elaine Cristina Campos, D. H. S. Chaves, P. C. Souza, M. A. Sousa, M. A. S. Birchal, V. S. Birchal



Atomization is the most important step in spray drying that defines the properties of liquid droplets after spraying, resulting in various forms of the dry product - from fine powders to granules. It basically refers to the disintegration of the liquid into droplets in the presence of a drying gas circulating in the medium, increasing its surface area until the droplet becomes unstable and disintegrates. The choice of the atomizer's configuration depends on the nature, viscosity of the supply and desired characteristics of the dried product. Atomizers are classified according to the three basic forms of energy commonly employed for the atomization: pressure energy; centrifugal kinetic energy and gaseous energy. This results in the three most common atomizer models: pressure nozzles, rotary disc atomizers and pneumatic nozzles. The sonic and vibrating atomizers are less common. The difference between the atomization enables one to obtain different droplet sizes and, consequently, a different particle size distribution. The selection of the atomizer can be based on some important considerations, such as availability, flexibility, energy consumption or particle size distribution of the dry product.


Spray Dryer, Atomizers, Particles, Dryers, Drying

Full Text:



SANDER, A., PENOVIC, T., “Droplet Size Distribution Obtained by Atomization with Two-Fluid Nozzles in a Spray Dryer”, Chemical Engineering Technology, v. 37, n. 12, pp. 2073-2084, 2014.

WALTON, D.E., MUMFORD, C.J., “Spray Dried Products – Characterization of Particle Morphology”, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, v. 77, n. 1, pp. 21-38, 1999.

MUJUMDAR, A.S., Handbook of Industrial Drying, 4 ed., New York, CRC Press, 2006.

MASTERS, K., Meeting pharmaceutical particulate requirements by spray drying, Spray Dry Consult Intl. ApS, Denmark, s.d..

WONG, S.M., KELLAWAYS, I.W., MURDAN, S., “Enhancement of the dissolution rate and oral absorption of a poorly water soluble drug by formation of surfactant-containing microparticles”, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, v. 317, pp. 61-68, 2006.

JESUS, S.S., FILHO, R.M., “Drying Of Α-Amylase by Spray Drying and Freeze-Drying – A Comparative Study”, Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering, v. 31, n. 3, pp. 625-631, 2014.

SALAS, M.C.R., VELÁSQUEZ, H.J.C., GONZALEZ, J.H.G., “Spray drying of sisal liquids extracts (Furcraea spp.): Overall performance of the drying process”, Powder Technology, v. 321, pp. 163-172, 2017.

CHOW, L.C., SUN, L., HOCKEY, B., “Properties of nanostructured hydroxyapatite prepared by a spray drying technique”, J. Res. Natl. Inst. Stan. Technol., v. 109, pp. 11-12, 2004.

ISKANDAR, F., GRADON, L., OKUYAMA, K., “Control of morphology of nanostructured particles prepared by the spray drying of a nanoparticle sol”, J. Colloid Interface Sci., v. 265, pp. 296-303, 2003.

LI, Y.X., JIANG, CH.Y., WAN, H.R., ZHU, Y., “Preparation of ultrafine LiCoO2 powders by spray drying (in Chinese)”, J. Inorg. Mater, v. 14, n. 4, 657-660, 1999.

MURTAZA, Q., STOKES, J., ARDHAOUI, M. “Experimental Analysis of Spray Dryer Used in Hydroxyapatite Thermal Spray Powder”, Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, v. 21, n. 5, pp. 963–974, 2012.

CAGATAY-DURMUS, A.N., OMER-SERDAR-OZGEN, B., “Durmus, Experimental synthesis of granulated zirconia powders by spray dryer”, Materials Letters, v. 145, pp. 243-246, 2015.

MARQUES, V.C., SILVA, H.C., RODRIGUES, A.M.T., et al., “Influence of the hydrocycloning and drying by spray dryer on bentonite clays rheological properties”, Cerâmica, v. 61, pp. 285-297, 2015.

MURRIETA-PAZOS, I., GAIANI, C., GALET, L., et al., ‘Food powders: Surface and form characterization revisited’, Journal of Food Engineering v. 112, pp. 1-21, 2012.

LIU, Q., SUN, D., YAN, T., et al., “Spray drying mass-production route for Mg-doped LiNbO3 (Mg:LN) polycrystalline powder based on a wet-chemical method”, Cryst. Eng. Comm., v. 14, pp. 5572–5578, 2012.

PALUCH, K.J., TAJBER, L., CORRIGAN O.I., et al., “Impact of process variables on the micromeritic and physicochemical properties of spray-dried porous microparticles, part I: introduction of a new morphology classification system”, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, v. 64 pp. 1570-1582, 2012.

MASTERS, K., Spray Drying Handbook, 5 ed., Harlow, Longman Science & Technical, 1991.

WANG, C., YU, F., ZHU, M., et al., “Microspherical MnO2-CeO2-Al2O3 mixed oxide for monolithic honeycomb catalyst and application in selective catalytic reduction of NOx with NH3 at 50–150 °C”, Chemical Engineering Journal, v. 346, pp. 182–192, 2018.

MANDATO, S., RONDET, E., DELAPLACE, G., et al., “Liquids' atomization with two different nozzles: Modeling of the effects of some processing and formulation conditions by dimensional analysis”, Powder Technology, v. 224, pp. 323-330, 2012.

LIN, C.X., PHAN, L., “A Numerical Study of Both Internal and External Two-Phase Flows of a Rotary Disc Atomizer”, Drying Technology, v. 31, pp. 605-313, 2013.

ESTEVINHO, B.N., ROCHA, F., SANTOS, L., et al., “Microencapsulation with chitosan by spray drying for industry applications - A review”, Trends in Food Science & Technology, v. 31, pp. 138-155, 2013.

RAMISETTY, K.A., PANDIT, A.B., GOGATE, P.R., “Investigations into ultrasound induced atomization”, Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, v. 20, pp. 254-264, 2013.

MASTERS, K., Spray Drying, Chemical and Process Engineering series, 2ed., New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1976).

MEZHERICHERA, M., NUNES, J.K., GUZOWSKI, J.J., et al., “Aerosol-assisted synthesis of submicron particles at room temperature using ultra-fine liquid atomization”, Chemical Engineering Journal, v. 346, pp. 606-620, 2018.

GHARSALLAOUI, A., ROUDAUT, G., CHAMBIN, O., et al., “Applications of spray-drying in microencapsulation of food ingredients: An overview”, Food Research International, v. 40, pp. 1107-1121, 2007.

RICHARDSON, J.F., HARKER, J.H., BACKHURST, J.R., Chemical Engineering, Particle Technology & Separation Process, v. 2, 5 ed., Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann, 2002.

BIRCHAL, V.S., Modelagem e simulação da secagem de leite em secadores spray, Tese de D.Sc., Escola de Engenharia/UFMG, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil 2003.

BELCHER, D.W., SMITH, D.A., COOK, E.M., “Design and Use of Spray Dryers - Part II.”, Chemical Engineering, v. 70, n. 21, pp. 201-208, 1963.

FILHO, U.C.O., Desenvolvimento de um secador “spray” para obtenção de pós finos de precursores de nióbio, Tese de D.Sc., Centro de Tecnologia/UFRN, Natal, RN, Brasil, 2007.

LEFEBVRE, A.H., Atomization and spray, New York, Hemisphere Publishing Corporation, 1989.

HUANG, L.X., MUJUMDAR, A.S., “The Effect of Rotary Disc Atomizer RPM on Particle Size Distribution in a Semi-Industrial Spray Dryer”, Drying Technology, v. 26, pp. 1319-1325, 2008.

XIAO, Z., VIE, X., YUAN, Y., et al., “Influence of Atomizing Parameters on Droplet Properties in a Pulse Combustion Spray Dryer”, Drying Technology, v. 26, pp. 427-432, 2008.

AGHBASHLO, M., MOBLI, H., RAFIEE, S., et al., “A review on exergy analysis of drying processes and systems”, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, v. 22, pp. 1-22, 2013.

NIROINC, Acessado em janeiro de 2018.

LIU, X.D., SHI, Y.C., “Pulse combustion in drying” In: Proceedings of the 4th Asia Pacific Drying Conference, 63-79, Kolkata, India, 13-15 December 2005.

WU, Z., YUE, L., LI, Z., et al., Pulse Combustion Spray Drying Of Egg White: Energy Efficiency And Product Quality, s.d.

PULSEDRY, http:// Acessado em janeiro de 2015.

APV INVENSYS, Dryer Handbook, Component Catalogue, Fluid Handling Equipment, 2003.

OI, R.K., Secagem da Biomassa de Banana Verde em Spray Dryer, Tese de D.Sc., Faculdade de Engenharia Química/Unicamp, Campinas, SP, Brasil, 2011.

FOUST, A.S., WENZEL, L.A., CLUMB, C.W., et al., Princípios das Operações Unitárias, 2 ed., Rio de janeiro, Guanabara Dois,1982.

MASTERS, K., Spray Drying Handbook, 4 ed., London, George Godwin, 1985.

EMEKWURU, N.G., WATKINS, A.P., “Analysis of A Two-Fluid Sprayer and Its Use To Develop The Number Size Distribution Moments Spray Model, Part I: Experimental Analysis”, Atomization And Sprays, v. 20, n. 6, pp. 467-484, 2010.

LIU, H., GONG, X., LI, W., et al., “Prediction of droplet size distribution in sprays of prefilming air-blast atomizers”, Chemical Engineering Science, v. 61, pp. 1741-1747, 2006.

CAL, K., SOLLOHUB, K., “Spray Drying Technique. I: Hardware and Process Parameters”, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, v. 99, n. 2, pp. 575-586, 2010.

YAN, Y., KIM, J. A., KWAK, M. K., et al., “Enhanced Oral Bioavailability of Curcumin via a Solid Lipid-Based Self- Emulsifying Drug Delivery System Using a Spray-Drying Technique”, Biol. Pharm. Bull, v. 34, n. 8, pp. 1179-1186, 2011.

YI, T., WAN, J., XU, H., et al., “A new solid self-microemulsifying formulation prepared by spray-drying to improve the oral bioavailability of poorly water soluble drugs”, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, v. 70, pp. 439-444, 2008.

POLAVARAPU, S., OLIVER, C. M., AJLOUNI, S., et al., “Impact of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA) on the Oxidative Stability of Fish Oil Emulsions and Spray-Dried Microcapsules Stabilized by Sugar Beet Pectin”, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, v. 60, pp. 444-450, 2012.

DESAI, K.G.H., PARK, H.J., “Encapsulation of vitamin C in tripolyphosphate cross-linked chitosan microspheres by spray drying”, Journal of Microencapsulation, v. 22, n. 2, pp. 179-192, 2005.

LEAROYD, T.P.J., BURROWS, L., FRENCH, E., et al., “Modified release of beclometasone dipropionate from chitosan-based spray-dried respirable powders”, Powder Technology, v. 187, pp. 231-238, 2008.

RATTES, A.L.R., OLIVEIRA, W.P., “Spray drying conditions and encapsulating composition effects on formation and properties of sodium diclofenac microparticles”, Powder Technology, v. 171, pp. 7-14, 2007.

FORBES, R.T., DAVIS, K.G., HINDLE, M., et al., “Water Vapor Sorption Studies on the Physical Stability of a Series of Spray-Dried Protein/Sugar Powders for Inhalation”, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, v. 87, n. 11, pp. 1316-1321, 1998.

SCHÜLE, S., SCHULZ-FADEMRECHT, T., GARIDEL, P., et al., “Stabilization of IgG1 in spray-dried powders for inhalation”, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, v. 69, pp. 793-807, 2008.

MANSOURI, S., SURIYA HENA, V., WOO, M.W., “Narrow tube spray drying”, Drying Technology, v. 34, n. 9, pp. 1043-1051, 2016.

BENJAMIN, M.A., JENSEN, R.J., ARIENTI, M., “Review of Atomization: Current Knowledge and Future Requirements For Propulsion Combustors”, Atomization And Sprays, v. 20, n. 6, pp. 485-512, 2010.

LEVITSKY, M.P., LEVITSKY, S.P., HADDAD, J., “Reduction of emissions in internal combustion engine by air-assist fuel atomization”, Journal of Science and Engineering, v. 2, pp. 228-241, 2004.

ZHAO, F., LAI, M., HARRINGTON, D.L., “Automotive spark-ignited direct-injection gasoline engines”, Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, v. 25, pp. 437-562, 1999.

RAMISETTY, K.A., PANDIT, A.B., GOGATE, P.R., “Investigations into ultrasound induced atomization”, Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, v. 20, pp. 254-264, 2013.

RAJAN, R., PANDIT, A.B., “Correlations to predict droplet size in ultrasonic atomization”, Ultrasonics v. 39, pp. 235-255, 2001.

DONNELLY, T.D., HOGAN, J., MUGLER, A., et al., “An experimental study of micron-scale droplet aerosols produced via ultrasonic atomization”, Physics of Fluids, v. 16, n. 8, pp. 2843-2851, 2004.



  • There are currently no refbacks.