Distillation is the thermal process of separating different solvents varying in temperature, pressure, and composition from a liquid mixture by selective boiling and condensation in order to increase the condensation of those selected components. In order to separate the solvents from each other, vapor has to be removed from a boiling liquid mixture and recondensed after evaporation. Vacuum pumps are ideal for the removal of non-condensable water and light solvents by providing pressure variation to allow for further separation.
In the pharmaceutical industry, the evaporation process is essential in eliminating excess moisture in order to make products easier to handle, preserve long-term activity, and improve the stability of enzymes. Kinney’s SDV systems have been used within many film evaporation applications in the production of high-performance medical grade silicones such as those used in implants, tubing for catheters, drug delivery, and skin care cosmetics such as moisturizers, anti-aging creams, sun care, and anti-wrinkle formulas.
Vacuum pumps play a vital role in the pharmaceutical industry for the manufacturing of bulk drugs, intermediate products, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The production of pharmaceutical products demands high-quality standards and processes, several of which require the need to operate under vacuum for separation without thermally degrading the end result. Vacuum pumps come into contact with solvents, vapors, and various gases in several pharmaceutical applications, requiring that they have reliable performance and durability. Kinney provides comprehensive engineering and product solutions to meet these demands.
Vacuum systems are used to pump solvent vapors in many pharmaceutical applications wherever excess solvents must be removed such as in processes involving drying, distilling, synthesis of compounds, purification, and cleaning. Many organic solvents need to be recovered due to their toxicity, flammability, or environmental impact, and dry vacuum pumping systems are the ideal solution due to having no internal sealing liquid that could contaminate the process. Solvent vapors are passed through the dry vacuum system and condensed at the exhaust that provides a closed-loop for containing and recovery.
Sterilization is a process designed to remove or destroy all viable forms of microbial life. In the pharmaceutical industry, two widely used sterilization methods are steam and ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilization. The steam sterilization process uses high-temperature steam to destroy any microbes or bacterial spores. The effectiveness of this process relies greatly upon the repeatability of the evacuation pulsation to remove air and ensure that the steam penetrates the product. Vacuum systems are relied on heavily for their ability to evacuate the sterilization chamber and handle the gases present.
EtO sterilization, however, uses ethylene oxide, a toxic, flammable gas that breaks down microorganisms on a chemical level. EtO sterilization is often preferred for sterilizing temperature or moisture-sensitive products and requires that they be preconditioned in a controlled environment of temperature and humidity. Similar to steam sterilization, the effectiveness of this process relies on a controlled environment and sterilization chamber. Kinney’s liquid ring vacuum pump has been a preferred solution in EtO sterilization due to its water sealing and ability to handle flammable gases.