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Understanding 3 Common Types of Compressed Air Dryers

Compressed air dryers are important to various types of industrial manufacturing processes. Industries such as food and beverage manufacturing, pharmaceutics, chemical compound synthesis, oil and gas exploration, etc require dried compressed air for high productivity. Those who work in these industries that require the use of compressed air know well that it is really important not to get excessive water trapped in the air.

Compressed air does not only contain vapour and water droplets but also oil, various types of debris, and different foreign matter. There might see serious problems in business operations if there is excessive water vapour in the compressed air. And, this is why compressed air dryers are a must! The mechanisms of compressed air dryers remove water vapour from compressed air.

In this article, we will discuss 3 types of compressed air dryers.

There are three common types of compressed air dryers: Refrigerated air dryers, Desiccant air dryers and Membrane air dryers.

Refrigerated air dryers

Refrigerated air dryers work with the principle of condensation. These air dryers cool compressed air to a low temperature. This allows the moisture suspended in it to condense into a liquid form. When the water has been removed completely, a dry stream of air starts to flow.

Refrigerated dryers are available in cycling or non-cycling variants. Cycling refrigerated dryers operate and supply variable cooling according to demands. Non-cycling units, on the other hand, provide constant cooling without any interruption.

Several manufacturing and service applications require this type of compressed air dryer, however, these air dryers are not suitable for applications that are highly sensitive.


  • Fewer setup costs
  • Low operation cost
  • Resistant to airborne particle


  • Not suitable for operation at sub-zero temperatures
  • The capacity of marginal dew point

Desiccant Air Dryers

As the name indicates, this type of air dryer operates by moving compressed air through a desiccant-filled compartment. As you may know, desiccants are natural moisture-based properties. These types of air dryers have two identical chambers. The unit is designed in such a way as to automatically use one compartment to dry out compressed air while the other one that is filled with desiccant is being regenerated.

Compressed Air Dryers

Desiccant air dryers are used for various industrial and commercial applications such as healthcare, food processing, mould prevention, ice rinks, fabric manufacturing and more.


  • Continuous low dew points
  • Affordable operational cost
  • Suitable for harsh, isolated environments


  • Set-up costs are high
  • Air filtration is required
  • The necessity of purge air

Membrane Air Dryers

When it comes to compressed air drying, Membrane air dryers are an efficient option. They use especially-designed membranes that contain microtubules. These microtubules filter moisture out of compressed air.

This type of air dryer is suitable for applications that require dehumidification, gas separation, food processing, need


  • Remote Operations Without the necessity of electricity
  • Quiet performance
  • No moving parts
  • Easy upkeep


  • efficient only when the clean air is free of oil and other impurities
  • regular filter changes

Final Words

As you can see each type of compressed air dryer has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. You need to choose the air dryer based on the application and budget.

MasterAire is the premier provider of heavy-duty Refrigerated and Desiccant air dryers by top-tier manufacturers. Click here to explore their collection of our air dryers.

We at MasterAire offer competitive prices, specific warranties, and add-on options on our products! We also offer fast delivery on every order. 

Schedule a consultation with one of our experts to choose the right product.