A Novel Method for Continuous Production of Dry Water
Physical Sciences : Mechanical
Available for licensing
- Ofodike Ezekoye, Ph.D. , Mechanical Engineering
- Jan-Michael Cabrera , University of Texas at Austin
Originally patented in 1968, a water-air emulsion encapsulated in refined silica known as "dry water" has been used in the cosmetics industry for years.
Current production methods of dry water utilize a mixing chamber in which a fixed ratio of silica to water is added in a batch process. The resultant product is an encapsulated water based aerosol that is 90% to 95% water by mass. The scale-up of this batch process to meet high usage demands is difficult at best.
Application of the product for cosmetics, chemical reactant and carbon dioxide absorption require a great deal larger quantities than typical batch processing can achieve.
Researchers at UT Austin have designed a new method of producing silica-encapsulated water with the same quality as that of the batch process dry water. The invention utilizes a single air stream, silica, and a cyclone separator in a way that will enable the high-capacity production of this high-demand product. This process will allow for the demands of the market to be met by use of a continuous production of encapsulated droplets.
- Higher production rates than batch process of similar size
- No high-pressure system requirements
Produces dry water of similar quality compared to the batch process.
Markets for the invention include fire suppression, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and gas storage.