With more than 150 years of experience in metal sourcing, trading, and hedging, we’ve built tangible results for our industrial customers. With more than 100 years of experience in recycling materials, BASF’s end-to-end recycling program is known and trusted around the globe. With more than 100 years of experience in recycling materials, BASF’s end-to-end recycling program is known and trusted around the globe. Find the latest news and media information for BASF’s Catalysts division, headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey, USA, the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts.
BASF Catalysts | Logistics Site in Ludwigshafen, Germany

Choose your language

This section is available in the following languages: English

Sorbead® Air: The Ideal Adsorbent for Air Drying

Saving Energy with Sorbead® Air

BASF Sorbead® Air adsorbents are alumino silicate gels in the form of hard, spherical beads. They are essential in removing water from compressed air so that the efficiency of chemical processes is not compromised. Sorbead® Air is the most energy saving and environmentally friendly adsorbent available for the air compression industry.

Sorbead® Air is known to cut energy and maintenance costs significantly due to many of its properties. It is the best adsorbent to use for the dehydration of air because of its:

  • Large surface area, which leads to a larger adsorption capacity
  • Low desorption temperature, which decreases the amount of energy used in regeneration
  • Ability to achieve low pressure dew points
  • Long lifetime due to its abrasion resistance and mechanical and thermal stability

Sorbead® Air Datasheets

Learn more about Sorbead® Air by checking out our datasheets.

Check out how much you can save using Sorbead® Air:

Sorbead® Air can be used in the most energy efficient, environmentally friendly systems.

With Sorbead® Air you save:

  • 15% in energy due to low desorption temperatures
  • 5% in energy due to high dynamic capacity
  • 25% to 40% on refills due to long life span
Untitled 1

Systems Sorbead® Air should be used for:

Sorbead® Air can be used in the most energy efficient, environmentally friendly systems.

Dryer Sorbead® Air Activated Alumina Molecular Sieve
External heat-regenerated (purgeless) Yes purgeless
Heat-of-Compression (HOC) Yes HOC
Cold regenerated (heatless) X X
External heat-regenerated (standard) X X X

BASF offers a full portfolio of products to support the compressed air industry including Activated Alumina and Molecular Sieves.

Adsorbent Solutions for Compressed Air Drying

The compression of humid ambient air, for example in an industrial application, produces liquid water by condensation. If the application does not allow moisture for chemical-physical reasons or danger arises due to the precipitation of the moisture, the air must be dried before compression.

Activated Alumina F200

  • Smooth sphere of activated alumina
  • Used with a wide variety of liquids and gases
  • Relatively low pressure due point achieved
  • Average lifespan and energy usage
  • Used with standard systems

Molecular Sieve

  • Synthetic crystalline aluminosilicate
  • Used when there is low relative humidity
  • Can achieve a low pressure dew point
  • Short life span and high energy use
  • Used with special systems
  • Only ideal in the conditions listed above

Our tools will show you Sorbead® Air is the best adsorbent for you.

Type in your own costs, operation hours, and desiccant lifetimes to see how much you can save investing in Sorbead® Air.

Cost Optimization with SORBEAD inside

Life time energy and desiccant costs (New Dryer)
EUR/kg EUR/kg
Desiccant DesiccantActivated Alumina DesiccantSorbead® Air
Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime
Investment New Dryer Investment New Dryer EUR Investment New Dryer EUR

Sorbead® Air EnerSave Tool

Looking for an energy consumption analysis?

BASF is in position to provide a customer with detailed energy consumption analysis for a specific dryer using our EnerSave tool. Use our form and our engineers will be in touch with you with a technical report highlighting potential savings if Sorbead® Air is installed. All data are treated fully confidentially.

Sorbead® Air Inside Program

Sorbead Air ® Inside Program has been designed to develop more significant relationships with Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) companies who recognize unique value of market-leading Sorbead Air ® adsorbents for compressed air dryers. This mutually beneficial partnership ensures that OEM receives all necessary technical and commercial support while using Sorbead Air ® products in existing or new lines of compressed air dryers. Sorbead Air ® Inside Program features:

  • Unique commercial benefits and long-term commercial partnership
  • Access to Sorbead Air ® Technical Design Guidelines
  • Technical service support by BASF experts
  • Technical trainings on Sorbead Air ® properties, functions and capabilities
  • Access to Spent sample analysis program
  • Access to BASF cross-marketing program

For more details about Sorbead Air® Inside Program, please contact BASF (responsible Marketing Manager).

Our partners:


Customer Success Stories

Industrial Fibers manufacturer issues with process air dew point

A manufacturer of industrial fibers experienced issues with reaching pressure dew point of -10 °C in process air during cold seasons. The process air was used to drive pneumatic equipment and the conveyor lines in a plant which ideally required pressure dewpoint of -25 °C. Some of the conveyor lines run through open areas outside where temperatures of below -20 °C were frequently seen.

Customer had two compressed air stations with dryers loaded with activated alumina desiccant. BASF performed technical evaluation and recommended to change the desiccant type from activated alumina to Sorbead® Air R/WS to improve performance under those conditions. After dryers were refilled with Sorbead® Air pressure dew point of -60 °C was steadily reached in process air. Furthermore, the operator of the plant emphasized that the regeneration conditions were not changed when switching from activated alumina to Sorbead® Air which implied that desorption was still carried out at the same bed inlet temperature and the lowest dew points have still been reached. According to the operator, operating the dryers with the aluminum oxide filling would undoubtedly have led to a breakdown due to icing of the conveyor lines.

Refinery using low-pressure steam for regeneration of adsorbent

A refinery in Southern Germany had excess of low-pressure steam (4 barg) that could be utilized as the heat energy source. When reviewing the most suited adsorbent for their externally-heated dryer system, the choice was made to use high energy-efficiency Sorbead® Air adsorbent. Since Sorbead® Air adsorbent installment, target pressure dew point of -30°C has been consistently reached. It was also shown that in continuous operation mode dew points below -40°C are achievable.

If a standard adsorbent had been used, the use of low-pressure steam for adsorbent regeneration would not be possible. Due to the higher desorption temperature of, for example, activated alumina, an electric heater or expensive high-pressure steam (10 bar) would have been required. The operator of the compressed air dryer says: " By using Sorbead® Air adsorbent and our low-pressure steam we saved about 38,000 EUR in energy cost per year".

Two partners, one individual solution

Individual compressed air treatment, adapted to difficult local conditions. Effective engineering and good cooperation between all parties involved made it possible.