There are 4 types or combinations of pharmaceutical manufacturers: bulk products, semi-finished products, active ingredients and FDA approved pharmaceutical products. Bulk pharmaceuticals and semi-finished products are usually manufactured by Fine Chemical. In pharmaceutical production, there are a variety of vacuum separation processes involving vacuum separation and rough extraction, low vacuum recovery of organic solvents, high vacuum distillation of high-boiling point thermosensitive materials, vacuum filtration of solid impurities removal, vacuum drying of powder intermediates or products, During the process, vacuum collection equipment is essential, most of the rough low-vacuum equipment used are water ring vacuum pump, rotary vane vacuum pump and piston vacuum pump.
The following are four main applications of vacuum pumps in the pharmaceutical industry:
Distillation is to separate two or more level or parts which are different in temperature,pressure, composition and morphology. With distillation column balancing, the parts with different concentration can be separated from the mixture. The distillation column provides pressure for separation of different liquid components by changing vacuum degree and temperature. Water ring vacuum device is able to remove noncondensable content, water and light hydrocarbon from the system, and allow raw material to be processed for separation by distilling column. The gas discharged from top distillation column is condensated and the forming liquid returns for further separeation. They are typical application in fatty acids, one-component glycerin hydrochloric acid, citamins(A,E), oil. Grease, paraffin wax, pesticdes and plasticizer,etc.
Crystallization is the excessive saturated liquid evaporation and cooling to form crystals, which are convenient to carry, storage and sales. For this application,vacuum pumps are ideal choice, they can be used in all pressure to control evaporation and cooling speed, and cut down cost by lowering liquid boiling point.
The following to our water ring Roots unit as an example of distillation crystallization flow chart:
Drying (tray, rotary, flip, cone and freezer drier)
Drying is a low cost and low temperature procedure. It evaporates liquid from the solids by reducing vacuum degree, and biological ingredients or active ingredients are not damaged, effect falling or oxidation. Drying of medical and biological products,including removing solvent and water etc., asks for high degree of the final drying device. The Roots pump units which are excellent in vacuum degree are recommended( see the right picture). We recommend the use of water ring vacuum degree higher unit (e.g., right). After drying, granular products are left and then pressed into tablets, with low damp and keep longer.
Degassing is to remove gases which are dissolved or residual in liquid or products. Vacuum device can remove the gas from liquid to improve the physical properties and product quality for further processing, and avoid cross contamination or corrosion, eg, oil degassing to improve purity (hydrocarbon oil, insulating oil, turbine oil, brake fluid and hydraulic brake oil, etc.),paste and paint degassing to remove excess gas that may harden or lower quality, polymer degassing in extruder, in order to get higher quality products or bubbleless.
The following is our Roots-liquid ring vacuum pump system used in the pharmaceutical industry’s picture:
Edited by Nancy Zhang / EVP vacuum solution