Alfa Laval Kathabar – Consistently perfect


Liquid desiccant solutions

When your products live in the perfect environment, you get more consistency. That’s what our Kathabar technology does for the confectionery industry. These highly engineered, dry and liquid desiccant solutions give your products their ideal air quality, temperature and humidity for processes like panning.

Dry, clean air provides more rapid and even evaporation for less surface softening, and easier handling and packaging. As a result, Kathabar technology reduces downtime, waste, and wear and tear, and increases production and cost savings.


  • Forming
  • Conveying
  • Panning and enrobing
  • Packaging
  • Cooling tunnels
  • Storage

How it works

The Alfa Laval Kathabar liquid desiccant dehumidification system operates on the principle of chemical absorption of water vapor from air. Our systems utilize a liquid absorbent known as Kathene.® Kathene solution is non-toxic, will not vaporize and is not degraded by common airborne contaminants.

The temperature and concentration of the solution determines the ability of Kathene to remove or add water vapor from the air. The concentration of Kathene can be adjusted so the conditioner delivers air at any desired relative humidity between 18% and 90%. For a given Kathene concentration, lower solution temperatures enable the conditioner to deliver cooler, dryer air.

The illustration below shows the basic elements of the liquid desiccant system. Conditioned air is cooled and dehumidified by contacting Kathene in the conditioner. By continuously circulating the desiccant through a heat exchanger, energy is extracted from the air and transferred to a coolant. The amount of heat extracted by the Alfa Laval Kathabar dehumidifier is modulated to exactly match the load ±1% by controlling coolant flow through the heat exchanger.


Production advantages

  • Increase throughput with precise humidity control (+/-1% RH)
  • Improve product quality
  • Prevent product from sticking to equipment and one another
  • Uniform drying times
  • Faster wrapping

Operational advantages

  • Maximize production rates by eliminating costly downtime due to poor air quality
  • Reduce maintenance expenses with robust industrial design
  • Operate cooling tunnels with frost free cooling as low as -60°F

Quality improvements

  • Consistent sugar coating with correct gloss and thickness in panning
  • Year round consistency in production and packaging
  • Prevent discoloration
  • Extend shelf life

Clean air

  • Eliminate bacteria and viruses from process air
  • Scrub the air of sugar and other particulates