Understanding Molecular Sieve
Molecular Sieves are one of the most commonly used desiccants for removing moisture from storage and packaging facilities. When we talk about molecular sieve, what comes to mind are Silica Gel balls/beads having uniform-sized pores. Silica Gel are one of the most well-known form of Molecular Sieves. Others include Activated Carbon and Activated Alumina. The uniqueness of Molecular Sieve desiccant is that it has all same-sized holes, which allow only molecules of the same size as the pores to pass through. The bigger molecules will not pass through as their size is different from the pore size of the molecular sieve. In this manner, molecular sieves absorb all the moisture present in packaging.
The main use of molecular sieves is in chromatography, the process by which different components of any given mixture are separated for further analysis. In the chromatography process, the given mixture moves through a bed of porous semi-solid substance, (the molecular sieve) where the separation process takes place. As the mixture moves forward, the components with more molecular weight are absorbed first by the molecular sieve. The lesser weighing molecules are always absorbed later. This is how in chromatography, the high absorption powers of molecular sieves are successfully put to use.
Molecular Sieves are divided into various categories, depending on their usage. These include 3A, 4A, 5A, 10A, 13X among others. In this article, we will get to know more about Molecular Sieve 3A.
Molecular Sieve 3A- An Introduction
Molecular Sieve 3A gets its name on the basis of its pore size. This type of molecular sieve has pores the size of 3 Angstrom ( the measurement used for the pore size of molecular sieves) and will allow only the passage of water molecules with lesser size. So when it is placed along side packed items, Molecular Sieve 3A will absorb all the vapour molecules and not allow dirt and other molecules with pore size more than 3A to pass through. Molecular Sieve 3A desiccant suppliers are witnessing high demand for this desiccant, given its high absorption capabilities.
MolecularSieve is generally an alkali metal alumino silicate, having the potassium form of type A crystal structure. The pore size of 3 Angstrom is generated when some of the sodium ions from the 4 Angstrom sieve get replaced by potassium ions. Manufacturers of Molecular Sieve 3A advocate more use of this desiccant as it has regular high adsorption rate, high contamination resistance, greater crushing strength and more cyclic times in comparison to other desiccants. Molecular Sieve 3A is also successful in increasing the shelf life of many packed items like food products and pharmaceutical items because of the above mentioned benefits.