Micro-feeder eases the handling of small quantities of powder
Stephanie Sutton | | Quick Read
This article was published in our sister publication, The Small Molecule Manufacturer, which celebrates the field of small molecule drug development and manufacturing with interviews and articles focusing on success stories, equipment, and new processing techniques. Read more about The Small Molecule Manufacturer here.
Accuracy and stability are essential when feeding small quantities of powders in a continuous manufacturing process. Agents, such as lubricants, are often only required in small amounts, and the industry is increasingly moving toward highly potent APIs – many of which require feed rates of only a few grams per hour. Conventional feeders struggle to cope with such small quantities, so scientists from the Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering and the Institute for Process and Particle Engineering at Austria’s Graz University of Technology have designed a micro-feeder to tackle the issue (1).
The feeder is based on active volumetric displacement and uses a piston to push powder up out of a cartridge toward the end of a plate. A scraper then places the powder into the process inlet. According to the researchers, the micro-feeder was tested in its ability to feed down to 1 g/hour and “can feed powder with good accuracy and reproducibility, indicating its high potential for continuous process implementation.”
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- S Sacher et al., Int. J. Pharm., [Online ahead of print] (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119969