Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2005
Publication Date: 11/1/2005
Citation: Lyn, M.E. 2005. Dehydration kinetics of calcium alginate beads (abstract). American Chemical Society.
Technical Abstract: The natural polymer alginate has found wide application in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries as well as in the medical or biotechnology field. Our particular interest is the use of this material to encapsulate living beneficial, microbiological agents for the control of agricultural pests. An important step in such a formulation is the drying of fresh calcium alginate beads containing the agent to a low water content appropriate for long term storage. The dehydration of freshly prepared calcium alginate beads is observed to have a simple power-law time dependence. The ratio of the water content, M(t), to the initial water content, Mo, can be expressed as, M(t)/Mo = (1-t/tc)3/2 . The parameter tc is quite insensitive to the composition of the alginate including the degree of cross linking. Using a simple model, tc can be estimated from the properties of water vapor, the initial water content, and the relative humidity