Specific Heat

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, Specific Heat is defined as “The heat in calories required to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance one degree Celsius”.

But what does that mean and why is important to those of us who depend on evaporation processes?

First off, a little back-ground information. Specific heat is a property of a substance kind of like the density of a material, or the temperature of a material, or the hardness of a material. Specific heat is a measure of how much heat it takes to change the temperature of a material. In other words, it takes more heat to increase the temperature of a material with a high specific heat than it does to raise the temperature of a material with a low specific heat.

Consider cookware, for example. The specific heat of copper is roughly 10 times less than the specific heat of glass. This means it takes roughly 10 times more heat to increase the temperature of glass cookware than copper cookware. You have likely noticed a difference between cooking in a glass dish versus a copper pan.

This is a very basic explanation of a very complex concept. Unfortunately, the concept of specific heat is far more complex than what we are presenting here and can get quite confusing when we consider all of the intricacies of specific heat.

So why is specific heat important to us? Well, for starters, if we have a good solid understanding of specific heat, we can start to gain a better understanding of what is going on with the energy we are putting into (or taking out of) our drying systems.

If you would like to know more about how we can use specific heat to help improve material recovery, reduce energy consumption, and improve quality consistency in your drying processes, give us a call at (320) 316-3170 or email us at We are always anxious to talk about ways we can help.

Check back soon for more discussion on factors that affect drying processes.