Technical Resources

Centrifuges for the Pharmaceutical Market

With the rapid development of new biologically active ingredients (API’s) in the pharmaceutical market and fine chemical industries, minimising an operators’ exposure to these potent products and solvents has become a critical factor in design and alloy selection.

The focus is to eliminate or reduce product exposure as much as possible, which has led to the development of a specialist range of centrifuges, which filter potent compounds to separate and purify solid products. One such challenge with basket filter centrifuges is to manage the containment of caked solids during discharge into downstream process equipment.

In addition, the demand for eliminating the contamination and discoloration of pharmaceutical products from corrosion products within the manufacturing process, has led to the use of high performance corrosion resistant material for the construction of the process plant.

Alloys used in the manufacture of centrifuges for the pharmaceutical & bio synthetics markets include Alloy 22, Alloy 59 , AL-6XN®, 254SMO, 904L and ZERON® 100 (UNS S32760 / Super Duplex).

In addition to making the containment less prone to failure caused by corrosion, these alloys are the preferred choice of materials for the centrifuge as they also meet the following demanding requirements:

  • Compliance to strict Industry regulations
  • High corrosion resistance for use in multi‐purpose plants, with the ability to operate in a wide range of media including highly oxidising environments with high levels of chlorides present
  • Minimising contamination and discolouration of the end product by eliminating the generation of corrosion products in the manufacturing process.
  • Maximising product quality whilst protecting the plant operators and environment from containment failures
  • Maximising product yields.
  • High strength allowing optimum design of containment transfer valve & extraction systems
  • Ability to electro-polish the surface of the material to meet the high demands for process equipment operating in aseptic and sterile conditions in the manufacture of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API’s)
  • Providing dust control when transferring bulk powders in the manufacture of speciality chemicals and fine chemicals
  • Allowing optimum design of both horizontal peeler centrifuges and vertical peeler centrifuges

Most centrifuges are designed for use in both pilot plant operation and full-scale production plants. They are commonly used in the manufacture of sterile products, pharmaceutical or intermediate pharmaceutical products, toxic or carcinogenic substances, highly concentrated biologically active ingredients and biological solids (API’s) etc.