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2015 Freeze Dryer Product Survey Results

Freeze dryers find use in a variety of research and manufacturing environments and are commonly used for material storage, food and pharmaceutical processing, as well as for less common applications such as taxidermy and document recovery. With a wide variety of options available, there is much to consider when purchasing a new freeze dryer.

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Trevor Henderson BSc (HK), MSc, PhD (c), is the creative services director at Lab Manager.  He has more than two decades of experience in the fields of scientific...

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Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Freeze Dryer

  1. What solvents are you using? A temperature differential between the sample’s eutectic temperature and collector temperature of 15–20 degrees is required. If solvents such as acetonitrile are used, a cascade freeze dryer is required.
  2. How much sample in liters will you run? When choosing a freeze dryer, vendors recommend loading 1/2 of the listed capacity. For example, a 6L freeze dryer will hold 3L during the run.
  3. Do you want to freeze dry in flasks, tubes, or bulk? Many drying accessories are available. On a manifold or drying chamber, flasks can be placed on each port. Test tubes and serum vials can be placed inside of the flasks for multiple samples per container. If samples are bulk, a tray dryer would be a good choice.
  4. Do you need to stopper under vacuum? Accessories can allow you to stopper under vacuum or nitrogen without using compressed gas.
  5. Is this a shared freeze dryer? A hybrid pump is recommended to prevent damage to the pump.

Types of freeze dryers used by survey respondents:

Manifold Benchtop 34%
Manifold Console 26%
Shelf Benchtop 23%
Non-Sterile Production 19%
Dry Ice Benchtop 17%
Shelf Console 9%
Sterile Production 8%
Other 4%

Freeze dryer applications as reported by survey respondents:

Pharmaceuticals 38%
Material stabilization and/or storage 38%
Other 21%
Food processing 9%
Starters and cultures 9%
Nutraceuticals 6%

Nearly 45% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new freeze dryer. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of an aging system
Addition to existing systems
Setting up a new lab
First time purchase

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a freeze dryer:

Product performance for intended application 81%
Ease of use 68%
Low maintenance/operating costs 68%
Reliability under high performance 61%
Price 60%
Service and support 49%
Accurate vacuum control 49%
Warranty 43%
Ease of installation 40%
Energy efficiency 27%

For more information on freeze dryers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

See the most current survey results here