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Freeze Drying

Process description

Freeze-drying is the gently drying of substances in a frozen form under vacuum. This process removes water or solvents from a product with the aim of preserving biological or chemical properties. This drying process is most commonly used in the biotechnology, pharmacy and food industry. By default, freeze-dryers have a condenser with conventional refrigerants.

Gas application

The condenser used for freeze-drying is operated with liquid nitrogen.   

This provides a range of advantages compared to conventional methods: 

  • Lower investment costs
  • Lower service costs
  • Maximum energy utilisation  
  • High operational reliability
  • Requires little space
  • Gentle drying through low drying temperatures 
  • Preservation of cell structures 
  • Preservation of aromatic substances 
  • No losses in product
  • Shorter drying times
  • Environmentally friendly cooling medium  

Messer solution

Messer has developed the Cryodry Process for freeze-drying. Solutions of temperature sensitive materials are first gently frozen and then dried under vacuum. Liquid nitrogen (LN2) is used as cooling medium both for the cooling loop and to cool the ice condenser. This makes it possible to set the condenser temperature at down to minus 100°C which greatly shortens the drying time and prevents thermally undesirable effects such as the destruction of cell structure.