Dryer Technology

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Course Overview

The efficient operation of industrial dryers requires a working knowledge of the fundamentals of drying, heat transfer, air flows and moisture removal. In this course, you will examine how to select the most suitable dryer to fulfill process objectives, conduct dryer surveys as an aid to problem solving and improving operations, estimate air flows and process design requirements, and identify leaks. You’ll explore methods to achieve energy savings and improve your product.

Who Should Attend?

Engineers, scientists, researchers, and production personnel who are responsible for the design, operation, selection, maintenance or specification of industrial dryers in food, chemical, petrochemical, biofuels, nutraceutical, mineral, and pharmaceutical operations and applications.

Additional Information

Course text
The text for this course is Process Drying Practice, by Edward M. Cook and Harman D. DuMont, McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1991. The text is included in your enrollment fee. A color-coded psychrometric chart is provided to enhance your learning.

Special note: Please bring a calculator for the problem-solving sessions.

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Course Outline

Fundamentals: Practical Dryer Theory

  • Theory versus practice
  • Types of dryers
  • Feed and product properties

Drying Systems

  • Basic designs
    • once-through
    • closed cycle
    • air and product recycle
  • Systems classes
    • indirect
    • direct dryers
  • Limitations and disadvantages
  • Major components
    • feeders
    • heaters
    • collectors
    • mixers

Indirect Dryers

  • Heating and heat transfer rate
  • Problems and disadvantages
  • Feeding and solids transport
  • Air use
  • Specific designs
    • disc
    • drum
    • paddle
    • rotary
    • screw flight

Direct Dryers

  • Operating modes and air motion
  • Solids transport
  • Feeding and feed rate
  • Air temperature; leakage
  • Air and fuel considerations
  • Moisture
    • outlet air
    • final product
  • Specific designs
    • conveyor
    • flash
    • fluid-bed
    • rotary
    • spray
    • tray
    • rotary tray

Process Design Estimating for Dryers

  • Methods for estimating and calculating
  • Indirect dryer methods
  • Direct dryer methods
  • Psychrometric charts
    • basics
    • sample calculations
    • non-aqueous liquids
  • Short-cut charts
  • Quiz

Drying System Surveys

  • Data collection
    • measurements needed
    • concerns
  • Survey results: a case study
  • Energy conservation: a case study

Strategies for Improving Operations

  • Laws of conservation for drying
  • Existing systems
  • New systems
  • Uncommon strategies
  • Effects of changes in energy use and production rate


  • Why tests are needed
  • Test facilities, procedures, and equipment
  • Feed material, feeding, and product properties
  • Sample questionnaire

Selecting the Right Dryer

  • Case studies
  • Feed, product, and dryer characteristics
  • Dryer performance and optimization
  • Dryer testing, sizing, and costing
  • New versus old equipment


"This course provides a solid understanding of drying and the measurements needed to improve our products and processes."
—Project Engineer

"As a result of taking this course, I have a better practical understanding of the dryer."

"The knowledge I gained will be useful in evaluating existing and proposed new equipment."

"This course increased my drying knowledge. This knowledge will enable me to improve my company's drying abilities and help me survey and improve our existing dryers."

"As a result of this course, we have a better understanding of our dryer. We will use the information from this course to optimize our operation and improve the design of our next dryer."
—Corporate Maintenance Manager


Elaine Andrysick

Elaine M. Andrysick, joined Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a continuing engineering education specialist in 1988.  She is responsible for the development and delivery of high-value continuing engineering education short courses for practicing professionals in the areas of chemical and process engineering and laser material processing.  Also, she manages the University’s Laser Welding Certificate program.

James Schak

Jim Schak is a consultant who has been teaching this course for 18 years and has more than 30 years of experience in the dryer field. Schak has worked in process and project design for several major dryer manufacturers, including GEA Niro, Witte, Coperion, Kason, and Sandvik. In these positions he was involved with spray, flash, fluid bed, belt, spiral and indirect dryers. He has authored and presented many papers on closed cycle drying, devolatilization, and drying of heat-sensitive materials. He holds a BS degree in chemical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Program Director

Elaine Andrysick

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