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I am writing in reference to an article in your March/April 2001 edition of Process Cooling & Equipment magazine, "Control Moisture with Liquid Desiccants."

While we agree with several of the assertions made in the article by Mr. Blount, including the facts that "in some applications liquid desiccants are more energy efficient than traditional defrost or dry desiccant systems," and that "a liquid desiccant system is able to capture and remove airborne pathogens from [the] airstream," we must take exception to one comment in the article.

Mr. Blount stated, "lithium chloride use is not permitted with edible food product." In point of fact, one of the major manufacturers of large liquid desiccant systems, using lithium chloride as the desiccant, has had installations in varied food processing plants for over 25 years. We also have had installations in food processing plants.

In a document held by our company (December 8, 1998), an analysis of EPA "Regulation of Lithium Chloride Solution Used in DryKor Ltd. Dehumidifiers" states that the chemical solution used in the dehumidification process is a desiccant solution of water with lithium chloride salt. This solution is highly stable, nontoxic, nonvaporizing and not degraded by common airborne contaminants. As a result, the dehumidified air does not release lithium chloride in either the cool dehumidified air or the wet exhaust air.

A second document (October 6, 1998), "FDA Regulation of Lithium Chloride Desiccant Dehumidifiers,'" states "we have not fount any FDA warning letters, trade press articles or guidance documents regarding dehumidifiers" and "in our view . . . dehumidifiers are not FDA-regulated products."

We feel that Mr. Blount's assertion regarding lithium chloride use around food casts an incorrect and negative impression about our dehumidification products, which have excellent potential in certain food processing plants. We expect that you will correct this information.

VelDean Fincher
Marketing Communications Manager
DryKor Ltd.

Jim Blount of Niagara Blower Co., Buffalo, N.Y., responds:

I have had a chance to review DryKor's letter and supporting documents regarding lithium chloride. The statement made in the March/April article, "lithium chloride use is not permitted with edible food product," can possibly be construed as misleading. My intention was to point out the fact that lithium chloride is not an FDA- or USDA-approved liquid whereas the Niagara No-Frost liquids, propylene glycol and ethylene glycol, are USDA-approved liquids. Although lithium chloride is not prohibited by the FDA or USDA, it is not approved either. I do, however, realize that lithium chloride has and will continue to be a viable option for food plant dehumidification.

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