APPLICATIONS OF COMPRESSED AIR IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY:
Clean and dry compressed air is very essential in the pharmaceutical industry and it is classified into two categories:
Process air Direct Contact Process Air Application
Process air application uses compressed air for a specific kinetic activity. For example, during pill production, the uncoated are churned in a large drum as part of the coating process. The compressed air often drives the drum, and it plays an important role in operating the conveyor systems.
Direct Contact Application
Direct contact entails the direct contact of compressed air with the application, therefore making air quality critical. For instance, while coating tablets, the structural integrity is maintained with the help of compressed air. The impurities present in the air will hinder the integrity and in the worst cases can contaminate the product. It is also critical in jet milling where nitrogen is used to reduce active ingredients. Specifically, the powder is fed into a milling chamber where compressed air or nitrogen, usually in a vortex motion, promotes particle-to-particle collisions. Particle classification is made by inertia, following reduction via impaction and abrasion.
Compressed air is also used to make sterile bottles, to safely remove dust and small particles from containers before filling. The system is particularly suitable for removing loose contaminants that may have accumulated during shipping or storage. Containers first enter the rinsing area and are then bathed with ionized air generated by special transvector air flow amplifiers. The static charge that attracts debris to the surface of the containers is neutralized. Rinsing heads use a blast of compressed air to clean them. A vacuum collects the loose particles which are then disposed. As a final direct application, membrane technology with nitrogen generators uses compressed air forced through a polymeric hollow fiber to selectively permeate oxygen, water vapor, and other impurities out of its side walls while allowing nitrogen to flow through its center and emerge as high purity N2 gas.