Understanding Desiccants and their Types

Understanding Desiccants and their Types

The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “desiccants” is silica gel, isn’t it?  Even if you have heard of other desiccants, you might not be aware of their applications. Some of the most common desiccants include:

  • Silica gel
  • Calcium oxide
  • Molecular sieve
  • Calcium sulfate  

Read on to find out the properties of these desiccants and their applications.

1. Silica Gel

Silica gel is purified from silicon dioxide, a naturally occurring mineral. It is processed into either beaded or granular form. Silica gel has a strong affinity and can pull moisture up to 220°F. Even if the moisture adsorption rate slows down with the increase in temperate, silica gel will continue to work fine.

The FDA has approved some forms of silica gel to be used in food packaging. It recharges quickly and does not swell after absorbing moisture.

2. Calcium Oxide

Calcium Oxide, also known as quicklime, is a moisture adsorbent that can adsorb a large amount of moisture at relatively low humidity than other materials. The water removal process is often slow, taking up days to reach its full capacity. Unlike silica gel moisture absorber, this desiccant swells upon adsorption.

3.  Molecular Sieve Desiccant

Based on technical performance, a molecular sieve is the best desiccant. It has the capacity of adsorbing all the moisture content from a fully saturated silica gel desiccant, turning it back into blue crystals. Molecular sieves are used for pharmaceutical purposes in Europe, whereas in America, it is used for reagents and biochemical.

Its high adsorptive capacity makes it expensive. Nevertheless, is it often considered the best value.

4. Calcium Sulfate

Calcium sulfate is developed by dehydrating gypsum. This desiccant is mainly used in laboratories as it is non-corrosive, non-toxic, non-disintegrating, and chemically stable. When exposed to higher temperatures, calcium sulfate can easily adsorb water.

It is usually sold in packets. Due to its low adsorptive capacity, this desiccant can be bought at a lower cost.

There are several other desiccants available with specific functions. These adsorbents range from phosphorous compounds to metal salts. Buy desiccants online at Sorbead India. Our desiccants are of high quality and come in a range of affordable prices. For more details on our products, visit our website.      

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