Pharmaceutical development and technology vol:3 issue:1 pages:63-72
The purpose of this study was to estimate the amount of water removed by the gap and atomization air streams during pelletization by the wet granulation technique in a rotary processor and to test the hypothesis that the influence of the water addition rate on the pellet size (1,7) mainly originates from differences in the amount of water removed by these air streams. Estimations from flow, temperature, and relative humidity measurements of the air streams, and estimations from moisture content measurements, indicated that approximately 3.6 g of water/min was removed during spheronization. The estimations from the air streams' characteristics obtained for the water loss during the water addition phase (2.6 g/min) reflected the water removal during the later stages and did not reflect the overall rate of water removal during the total water addition phase as estimated from moisture content measurements (2.0 g/min). This was attributed to the fact that estimations from the air streams' characteristics could not take into account the early stages of the water addition phase. In these early stages, the amount of water removed was very limited. Using the foregoing estimations, differences in amount of water removed by the air streams could be compensated by adding more water when the water addition rate was decreased. This resulted in similar pellet sizes (geometric mean diameter of 800-850 microns) using different water addition rates. Thus, the hypothesis that the major influence of the water addition rate on the pellet size mainly originates from differences in the amount of water removed by the gap and atomization air streams was confirmed.