Demystifying high pressure diffusers in pharmaceutical manufacturing

Published: 7-Jun-2024

Understanding high pressure diffusers

High Pressure Diffusers (HPDs) play a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy of your particle counts when dealing with compressed gas samples. These devices serve as the bridge between the particle counter and the compressed gas line – diffusing the gas as it enters the particle counter sample inlet so the pressure is managed to not damage the sensitive internal sensor parts of the particle counters sample chamber.

Types of High Pressure Diffusers

There are two main types of HPDs: Vented Return and Ported Exhaust. Vented Return HPDs release the gas back into the environment, while Ported Exhaust HPDs safely expel the gas outside the testing environment. The choice between these types depends on the nature of the gas being sampled, with Vented Return HPDs being suitable for harmless gases like 02, while Ported Exhaust HPDs are usually maintained for hazardous gases such as flammables.

Setting Up Your HPD

Proper installation of your HPD is critical for accurate sampling. It involves securely connecting the HPD between the compressed gas line and the particle counter, ensuring tight fittings and correct airflow direction. Any leaks or incorrect fittings could compromise the integrity of your sampling process.

Fine-Tuning Your Flow Rate

Another essential thing to be aware of is that you will need to achieve the correct flow rate to ensure your sample results. Matching the flow rate of the particle counter with the HPD ensures iso-kinetic sampling, where the airflow remains constant. Adjustments may be necessary based on the gas inlet pressure, and referring to a table for guidance can help optimise your flow rate for accurate sampling.

The Important of Testing Gas in Pharma

At Lighthouse, we recognise the intricacies of pharmaceutical manufacturing, and that every detail counts – especially when it comes to maintaining a compliant ISO 8573 environment. Testing and controlling compressed gases in your pharmaceutical manufacturing are imperative for upholding quality, efficacy, and safety standards.

These practices maintain the stringent conditions necessary for producing sterile pharmaceutical products, safeguarding public health and trust:

Controlled Atmosphere: Gases like nitrogen create inert environments that shield sensitive pharmaceutical ingredients from oxygen and moisture, preventing degradation and ensuring product stability.

Pressure Control: Compressed gases regulate pressure in critical processes like filtration and fluid transfer, ensuring consistent and efficient operation essential for maintaining manufacturing integrity.

Cleanliness and Sterility: Gases purge equipment and maintain sterile environments, preventing contamination and upholding the required cleanliness standards, particularly in cleanrooms.

Aseptic Filling: Gas ensures containers are pristine before filling, crucial for maintaining product purity. HEPA-filtered compressed air guarantees a contaminant-free environment.

Drying and Evaporation: Gases aid in removing water or solvents from formulations, vital for producing dry powder formulations or controlling moisture levels.

Particle Removal: Compressed gases dislodge and remove particles, maintaining cleanliness standards critical for product sterility in controlled environments.

Energy Supply: Gases power mechanical operations like pneumatic systems, preferred for their low contamination risk, ensuring sterile manufacturing processes.

High Pressure Diffusers may seem complex at first glance, but understanding their importance and proper usage is essential for accurate particle counting. By selecting the appropriate HPD type, setting it up correctly, and fine-tuning the flow rate, you’ll easily be able to ensure reliable and precise results in your gas sampling endeavours.

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