Powder/Particulat Problems

(not verified)
Posted in: , on 21. Jan. 2003 - 18:47

1. What are the main problems or issues you encounter when dealing with pharmaceutical powders/particulates?

2. What do you perceive as being major knowledge barriers in dealing with pharmaceutical powders/particulates, or what would you like to have a better understanding of?

3. What you see as the new emerging pharmaceutical powder/particulate technologies / techniques that are of potential benefit to you?

Pharmaceuticl Powders

Posted on 22. Jan. 2003 - 07:13

My interest is in the design of dust control systems.

1. Manual handling of powders releases fugitive dust, even when done carefully. In the dispensary, only small quantities are handled and emissions are easily controlled using local exhaust hoods. Spillages are easy to clean up.

In production areas, hand loading of larger quantities (from 200 L drums for instance) into blenders or feed hoppers is problematical for cleanliness and possible contamination of adjacent rooms. I prefer to see bulk powders loaded manually from paper bags into hoppers fitted with local exhaust, from elevated platforms if necessary. Filling and tabletting machines of modern design are generally well enclosed so that there is little dust released during operation. Cleaning should be done using a vacuum cleaning system, separate from the dust collection system.

Fugitive dust which remains airborne finds its way to the HVAC system with possible contamination consequences or, at least, increased maintenance of the filters.

2. There are no major knowledge barriers in dust control. All of the standard principles apply, with care to be economical with exhaust quantities because of the consequences for HVAC. After good equipment design, manual handling procedures and housekeeping are next in importance and need to be well defined.

3. Many people seem to be unaware of the potential for explosions when handling combustible powders. All of the conditions for a dust explosion exist within a dust collector, except a source of ignition. Although the risk is generally regarded to be small, care should be taken to locate dust collectors outdoors or to design them so that a deflagration can be safely vented outside the building.

4. I can see no emerging technologies which will benefit this subject.

I hope this discussion is helpful.

Michael Reid.

(not verified)


Posted on 22. Jan. 2003 - 11:27

Michael Reid,

Thank you for your contribution, it is very useful and much appreciated.


Kevin Barry

(not verified)

Problems In Pharmaceutical Powders

Posted on 24. Jan. 2003 - 09:39

I feel the major interest in the people doing research in Pharmaceutical area focus on

1) Granulation and controlled release of drug. Another area which is focus much is encapsulation and coating.

2) Other area which need research is on the Binder free granulation. It will become a key area near future.

3) Containment of powder is another key area. Maintaining Homogenity of the powder mixtures, design of good blenders and storage containers.

4) Cleaning of the process equipment online. Some fo the pharmaceutical powder are bit adhesive. Cleaning the process equipment is bit difficult.

I guess major knowledge barrier is less understanding on the mechanical characteristics of some of these pharmaceutical powders. Scale up relationship of powder handling and processing equipment.

G Bindhumadhavan

Centre for Formulation Engineering,

The University of Birmingham, UK