The following are the processes involved in the Pharmaceutical industry that require heat energy to generate steam and hot air where we can use concentrated solar power technologies for meeting demand of heat energy:
The Pharmaceutical industry produces multiple products such as tablets, capsules, ointments, liquids and powder. The manufacturing processes in this industry require high energy and the requirement of the thermal and electrical energy varies depending on the product. The thermal energy requirement typically consists of low pressure steam (~ 5 bar, 150°C), hot water (60 – 80°C). Some of the industries also require hot air at 60 – 80°C in large quantities. This temperature ranges are very much suitable for the integration of solar thermal systems in the process. Two typical processes in pharmaceutical industry that require heat in some form are explained below.
All the equipment used for pharmaceutical processing as well as the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are required to be sterilized. Different types of sterilizers such as Steam Sterilizer, Dry Heat Sterilizer, Sterilizing Tunnel, CIP System (Cleaning in Place), and SIP System (Sterilization in Place) use heat in different ways. Sterilizers can use either hot air or steam for sterilization of the products (medicines). The hot air is used generally at 160°C at least for 2hours. The sterilizers that use steam have pressure range up to 2 bar-121°C.
Granulation is a size enlargement process, which converts small particles into physically stronger & larger agglomerates. There are several types of granulation processes such as wet granulation, fluid bed granulation, and spray drying granulation. The granulation process typically requires hot air at 60-70°C at very high flow rate up to 250 m³/hr.