Regenerating Molecular Sieve
How to Regenerate Molecular Sieve
Things to Know Before you Start:
- Regeneration should ONLY be performed in a well-ventilated area
- Do NOT regenerate the material at temperatures exceeding 800˚F as this can cause the material to be destroyed and may present a fire hazard, high temperatures can also damage the crystalline structure of the material, rendering it useless
- The best way to determine that the material is regenerated is by measuring a weight change – a before measurement will be needed; as water is released, the tray of silica gel will lose mass so the after weight will indicate the water released
- Beware that molecular sieve will get very hot in an oven and will need to be handled with great care using safety gloves and googles
- Regenerating the material in thin layers will give better results and reduce the chance of damaging the material, regenerate in small batches if necessary.
- Adsorbent material should never be consumed
The Preferred Method:
1. Preheat a clean grill or oven to:
A. 400˚F if regenerating Type 3A Molecular Sieve – do NOT expose Type 3A molecular sieve to temperatures above 450˚F as this will rapidly destroy the crystalline structure.
B. 550˚F if regenerating Types 4A, 5A, or 13X Molecular Sieve – do NOT expose these molecular sieves to temperatures above 800˚F as this can damage the crystalline structure.
2. Prepare a metal cookie sheet by covering it with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
3. Evenly distribute the molecular sieve across the cookie sheet, leave uncovered, and place on the preheated grill or in the oven.
4. The time for regeneration varies for each oven, but the process can take around 2-8 hours depending on volume, equipment, etc.; stir every half hour or so to allow condensed moisture to escape and for even regeneration.
5. Once regenerated, allow material to cool for at least an hour before handing or placing in storage.
6. You can reuse molecular sieve multiple times as long as proper regeneration steps are followed. Repeat when necessary!