Desiccants, How to Best Use!

Desiccants will only be effective when used in a closed moisture barrier package or a rigid, sealed container. This needs to be in a controlled environment to allow for optimal adsorption of the trapped vapors inside. If additional moisture from outside gets inside the packaging, then these moisture control products cannot guarantee the same results. For optimum humidity control, it is best to use desiccants in conjunction with a Humidity Control Card, which can be placed inside the package to monitor humidity levels. When the card shows a reaction, it is time to replace the desiccant.

There are various moisture control products, so it is important to pick the right desiccant. The type and quantity of desiccant will depend on the type of packaging being used and the volume of the container. With this, it is possible to determine which desiccants can work with a Desiccant Requirement Chart. From these options, it is critical to then consider the amount of moisture that needs to be adsorbed and the rate at which the process must occur. Overall shipping and storage conditions have an impact as well, with temperature and humidity goals affecting the final decision.

In general, the material of the desiccant can greatly impact its cost and absorption rate capacity. On the low end is Clay Moderate, with an absorption rate capacity by weight of 28%. Silica Gel Moderate offers medium capacity by weight at 38%, while Molecular Sieve Fast has a high absorption rate capacity by weight of 20%.



Molecular Sieve

Silica Gel 


Adsorptive Capacity at low H20 Concentrations Excellent Poor Fair
Rate of Adsorption Excellent Good Good
Capacity for Water @77° F, 40% RH High Medium Medium
Adsorptive Capacity at Elevated Temperatures  Yes No  No 
Separation by Molecular Sizes  Excellent  Poor   Poor

Determining Types and Quantities of Required Desiccant

1. What type of container or bag is being used for packaging?
2. What is the volume or area of the container (Formula: L x W x D = Cubic Feet, Cubic ft. x 7.47 = Gallons)
3. Determine the amount of desiccant required using the “Desiccant Requirement Chart”.
4. Which Desiccant will best if the application defined above based on the following?

• How much moisture needs to be adsorbed?
• What is the permeability of packaging?
• What will be the temperature and humidity of the shipping and storage conditions?
• What is the absorption rate required?
• What is the required shelf like of the prodyct?
• What is the cost of the desiccant?

Typically, most customers will use more desiccant than is recommended as additional safety of the packaged product. If you need some assistance finding the best solution, please contact our knowledgeable staff at 630-980-5205 or email us.



Delta Adsorbents

Division of  Delta Enterprises, Inc.

24 Congress Circle W, Roselle, IL 60172 

Ph. 630.980.5205 - Fax 630.980.5286