There is an important need to identify the right kind of desiccant to protect a particular solvent. Each of them, whether basic or acidic in nature, needs a distinct and fresh approach. It is an established fact that the presence of moisture or water vapour in the atmosphere can alter the composition of the solvent.
The Different Kinds of Desiccants
Every solvent needs a specific type of desiccant. Most of the solvent drying desiccants are especially formulated to cater to a pre-defined need. Besides, they come in different sizes that may include packets or sachets or in pillow or in unit packets or in many other forms, depending on the size of the consignment or packing that needs the required protection from contamination.
For transportation purposes, there are special desiccant packets or bags that can store the solvents and keep them away from water vapour or other toxic gases that can be present in the atmosphere or in the prevailing oxygen conditions.
The important point that must always be kept in the foreground before choosing a desiccant is that all substances that can alter the nature of the solvent that needs protection must be absorbed by them before they can chemically interact with the solvent. It is primarily for this reason that there are a number of different desiccants available that have been specially designed for a specific job.
The key function of a desiccant is that it must increase the shelf life of the solvent as much as possible, without interacting with it. A good desiccant must be able to protect the solvent till the time that its packet is not opened or till it is consumed. The basic integrity of the composition of the solvent must be maintained at any given cost.
The Composition of a Good Desiccant
Most of the desiccants that are used to preserve solvents generally are vitreous and porous in nature. The average pore size is about 2.5 nanometres, and has the ability to store more than 20 times or more of its original size and weight of moisture or toxic gases.
There are many minerals or compounds that are known to be very effective as desiccants. However, it is important to know the composition of the solvent that needs protection. The desiccant must be neutral and non reactive to the solvent that needs to be packed or stored over some time.