What Are Molecular Sieves, And How Do They Work?
As a leading provider of moisture-free solutions across the globe, we offer the most diverse range of adsorbents and desiccants today. Within the desiccant product range, we also offer molecular sieves that are used to remove moisture elements during processing and packaging.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at molecular sieves, along with their uses and benefits.
What are molecular sieves?
Molecular sieves are synthetic zeolite materials that are designed to have pores that are highly uniform and precise. Zeolite is a naturally existing substance that’s already extremely porous.
During the manufacturing process, each pore is engineered to have a specific size and structure so only specific particles can pass through. This allows preferential adsorption of liquids and gases based on molecule size and polarity.
Image Filename: molecular-sieve-variety
Image Alt Text: a collage of different varieties of molecular sieves
Types of molecular sieves
There are four main variants of molecular sieves: 3A, 4A, 5A, and 13X. Each variant has a different pore size that’s dependent on the chemical formula of the chosen zeolite.
Molecular sieves allow gas and liquids to pass through if they’re smaller than the pores in diameter. Particles with a larger diameter than the pores can’t enter and are effectively separated from the smaller molecules.
Uses of molecular sieves
Molecular sieves have different uses depending on the type used. Here’s a quick overview of each:
- Molecular sieve 3A: is used for drying polar liquids like ethanol and methanol.
- Molecular sieve 4A: is used for static drying of gases and liquids in electronics, food packaging, and pharmaceutical product packaging.
- Molecular sieve 5A: is used to refine oil and gas products
- Molecular sieve 13X: is primarily used to separate oxygen and nitrogen from air.
A practical example of molecular sieves in action would be the use of the 3A molecular sieves to dry ethanol. For ethanol to become fuel-grade, it must have a minimum ethanol purity level 99 percent. Here, 3A sieves designed with 3 Angstrom-sized pores are used to adsorb water while leaving behind fuel-grade ethanol.
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If you’re looking for high-quality molecular sieves, Sorbead India can help. We’re an ISO 9001:2000 certified manufacturer that offers all varieties of molecular sieves, including 3A, 4A, 5A, and 13X. These adsorbents are all available in pelleted, beaded, and powdered options.
For more information about the company or to learn more about our products, send us an inquiry or call +91-756-768-8877.