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Fundamental Investigation of the Drying of Solid Suspensions

Osman, Abdulkadir, Goehring, Lucas, Patti, Alessandro, Stitt, Hugh, Shokri, Nima
Industrial & engineering chemistry process design and development 2017 v.56 no.37 pp. 10506-10513
acoustics, cameras, dispersions, droplets, drying, image analysis, particle size, process design, scanning electron microscopy, semiconductors
In this work, a comprehensive series of experiments is conducted to investigate the drying behavior of micro- and nanosized particle dispersions. To this end, an acoustic levitator was used to study the drying kinetics of single droplets. The temporal evolution of the actual droplets was recorded using a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) camera, and the solid grains produced at the end of drying were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging. At the end of drying, the grains show different morphologies as a function of the particle size, concentration, and initial droplet volume. We combine these experimental data to show the drying behavior is dependent on all the parameters and that the data all collapse when plotted against the Péclet number. This resulted in a novel characteristic diagram which allows one to predict the shape of the dried colloidal droplet based on Pe. Our results extend the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms controlling the drying of droplet suspensions.