Recovery of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)

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Recovery of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)

Efficient recovery of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), chemical substances and food powders after drying applications such as spray and fluid bed drying is frequently a problem. The same problem occurs in many milling and micronization applications.

Particularly, the concentration of catalyst after the FCC regenerator is usually over 150 mg/Nm3. Since these levels of emissions didn't represent any environmental harm in the past, they were not controlled by any separator or filter. Plant managers main concern was to clean a fraction of the gas to produce energy in a Turbo Expander, or similar, while concentrating the rest of the pollutant in a dirty gas fraction and releasing it to the atmosphere.

With stricter emission limits, plant managers have to control catalysts emissions and therefore need a very robust particle collection system, capable of withstanding temperatures of many hundreds of degrees, while being more cost effective than expensive sinterized filters. The system shall be placed immediately after the regenerator or after the particle separator upstream of the turbo expander.

Client's needs include a low maintenance cyclone system efficient enough to comply with regulatory PM limits, thus avoiding the use of a filter.

Schemes

Spray Drying | General Arrangement

Usual spray drying arrangement (single point, two point and closed cycle) includes a high efficiency cyclone and a bag filter.

The cyclone serves the purpose of separating and collecting the dried powder originated in the spray drying chamber. In the vast majority of the cases, the fraction of product escaping to the bag filter is not considered as first grade product, and thus seen as losses. The main reasons for this are contamination with filter fibers, product cross contamination and risk of heat degradation.

For fine powders with a median diameter in volume (MVD) of less than 5 µm, losses due to low cyclone efficiency can rise to more than 25 %

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Fluid Bed Drying | General Arrangement

In fluidized bed arrangements, cyclones are used to recover the fine fraction of the dried powder, collecting or returning it to the bed.
This fraction frequently has a very small particle size distribution which results in low yields in the cyclone.
Improving the efficiency is crucial both to recover first grade product and to reduce filter bag cleaning and frequent change of bags.

Client needs include a cyclone system efficient enough in order to replace the bag filter and comply with regulatory emission limits.

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Solutions:

Hurricane
A single Hurricane is more efficient than any other cyclone in the market.

Hurricane lines of cyclones can be optimized to be an efficient pre-separator to reduce concentration after the calciner, as it can amount to several g/m3, but also to work as a final stage dedusting system.

ACS has experience in several calcining applications, including low temperature dolomitic lime (MVD = 27 µm; ? = 97%), or quicklime (MVD = 27 µm; ? = 91%) and high temperature metacaolin.  

In calcination processes, concerns have to be taken regarding the abrasiveness of some dusts, which implies the cyclones to be inner lined with ceramic titles or ceramic bases cement. In high temperature applications, the selection of steel is is very important.

  • Very high efficiencies: down to 10-20 % of the emissions of other high efficiency cyclones;
  • Custom designs (single or parallel arrangement)
  • Low pressure drop: [100 - 150] mm w. g.
  • No temperature restrictions with the right choice of steel. Carbon Steel - P355NH Steel - 16M03 Steel - 253MA Steel
  • Robust construction with no moving parts
  • Near zero maintenance and downtime costs
  • Very low operating costs
  • Pre-assembled modular system with very easy and fast installation. Batteries of 2, 4, 6 or 8 cyclones are shipped pre-assembled in a supporting structure with or without thermal insulation.
  • Low investment cost
Image
  1. Air and Dust from Dryer or Boiler
  2. Hurricane Cyclone
  3. Valve
  4. Collected Particles
  5. Clean Air
ReCyclone MH System
A ReCyclone MH decreases emissions of Hurricane cyclones alone by 40 to 60 %

Mechanical ReCyclone Systems (ReCyclone MH) are a solution to improve cyclone efficiency, when working as a final dedusting system. They can work with several lines of Hurricane cyclones with different performances depending on the requests of the clients.

ReCyclone MH decreases emissions of Hurricane cyclones alone by 40 to 60 %

As with cyclone systems, ReCyclone MH systems are very robust, do not have temperature limitations and do not have moving parts to be frequently changed.

In calcination lines, concerns have to be taken regarding the peripheral equipment, namely recirculation fan and rotary valves to stand abrasive dusts and high temperatures.

  • Very high efficiencies: decreases emissions of Hurricane Cyclones by [40-60]%
  • Pressure drop: [150-220] mm w. g.
  • No temperature restrictions with the right choice of steel. Carbon Steel - P355NH Steel -16M03 Steel - 253MA Steel
  • Robust construction with no moving parts
  • Near zero maintenance and downtime costs
  • Low operating costs
  • Pre-assembled modular system with very easy and fast installation. Batteries of 2, 4, 6 or 8 cyclones or mechanical recirculators are shipped pre-assembled in a supporting structure with or without thermal insulation.
  • Low investment costs
Image
  1. Air and dust from boiler or dryer
  2. Hurricane cyclone
  3. Discharge valve
  4. Collected Particles
  5. Clean air
  6. Recirculator
  7. Fan
ReCyclone EH System
ReCyclone systems avoid the problem of dust colmatation and condensation.

Electrostatic ReCyclone Systems (ReCyclone EH) are a solution to improve cyclone or ReCyclone MH efficiency, when working as a final dedusting system. They can work with several lines of Hurricane cyclones with different performances depending on the requests of the clients.

A ReCyclone EH decreases emissions of a ReCyclone MH alone by 40 to 70 %

As with cyclone systems, ReCyclone EH systems are very robust, can stand temperatures up to 400ºC and do not have moving parts to be frequently changed.

In calcination lines, concerns have to be taken regarding the peripheral equipment, namely recirculation fan and rotary valves to stand abrasive dusts and high temperatures.

  • Very high efficiencies: decreases emissions of a ReCyclone MH by [40-70]%
  • Pressure drop: [120-180] mm w. g.
  • Operates up to 400oC
  • Robust construction with no moving parts (no rapping mechanisms)
  • Low maintenance and downtime ?costs
  • Low operating costs (Electrical field power = 5 % fan power)
  • Pre-assembled modular system with very easy and fast installation. Batteries of 2, 4, 6 or 8 cyclones or electrostatic recirculators are shipped pre-assembled in a supporting structure with or without thermal insulation.
  • Reasonable investment costs
  • Not sensitive to variable flow rates
Image
  1. Air with fly ash from the boiler or from the pre-separator
  2. Hurricane Cyclones. (Batteries of 2, 4, 6 or 8 )
  3. Rotary discharge valve
  4. Collected particles
  5. Cleaned Air
  6. Electrostatic recirculators. (Batteries of 2, 4, 6 or 8 )
  7. Recirculation fan
  8. DC High Voltage

Note: supporting structure, insulation and ductwork are not represented.

Advanced Cyclone Systems, S. A.
Advanced Cyclone Systems, S. A.
Rua de Vilar, 235 3º Esq. Edifício Scala
Porto 4050-626

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