Bag filtration goes beyond water and fracking, and straight into our medicine cabinets in our homes.

Throughout many of our posts, we’ve uncovered how industrial filtration makes our lives more comfortable and convenient. It prevents spoilage, bacteria, and hard debris in the food and beverage industry, and brings clean, safe drinking water to our homes.

As the filtration industry evolves, old processes replace outdated technology, and new, innovative bag filtration can thrive and spur the industry with the latest filter media and filters to better serve the pharmaceutical industry, thus creating higher quality and safer products for the population.

Filter Sciences brings premier bag filtration to a host of industries, including pharmaceuticals. Take a moment and review with us the importance of pharmaceutical filtration and how it affects our daily lives.  

Filtration Basics 101

Filtration is an overarching term, and though most of us understand it, it’s a lot more in-depth than most think. On the surface, filtration begins a process where solid particles are separated from a gas or liquid, which collects the solids and allows the rest to flow freely.

This basic filtration method happens within the pharmaceutical industry and creates what is known as a slurry. A slurry is a suspension that is needed to be filtered in the production of bulk drugs, sterile products, and liquid or oral formulations.

As the slurry begins its filtration process, it moves through the filter media — solids accumulate into what is known as a filter cake and the liquid remains as the filtrate.

Outside of the pharmaceutical filtration, filtration can be considered for filtering inadmissible constituents through a filter medium that employs bag filtration — the same principle in employed, get rid of the parts you don’t want showing up in your final product.

Industrial Filtration in Pharmaceuticals

What we know so far: filtration separates particles and fluid in an interruption where the fluid can present as a supercritical fluid, gas, or liquid — depending on the application of the pharmaceutical, either both or just one of the factors can be isolated.

Why filtration?

Filtration is vital to the pharmaceutical industry because it is able to physically separate compounds of a different chemical makeup, and by knowing how each component responds and reacts to different solvents, one solvent can dissolve one type and not another — one part will be mixed within the solution and pass through the filter, while the other is restrained. This in and of itself is one of the most vital techniques used by chemists to purify chemical compounds.

Pharmaceutical filtration is different than sieving.

Let’s address sieving for a moment — filtration sounds awfully similar, right? Filtration differs from sieving by the single, perforated layer that a substance passes through. In sieving, the particles are too large to pass through the holes or layer of the sieve and are retained.

Filtration is multilayered and is able to not only keep refining the substance but can form a filter cake as particles collect around the layers.

Pharmaceutical filtration is different from absorption.

Filtration is different than absorption because it’s not necessarily the size of the particles that cause a separation, but the event the surface charge.

Some adsorption equipment uses activated charcoal and ion exchange resins which are referred to as filters, but this, as we know, is not their primary function.

Different Types of Filtration Used in Pharmaceuticals

While bag filtration is innovative, cost-effective, and eco-friendly, there are a myriad of types of filtration that can be used in pharmaceuticals.

Depth Filtration

This type of filtration retains the particulate in both the filter and on the surface, aided by what is known as mechanism engagement and used exclusively for clarification. An example of depth filtration is cross-flow filtration and sintered filters, and ceramic filters.

Surface Filtration

This type of filtration occurs by preventing the passage of solids, implementing the fundamentals of straining. Many times plates with woven sieves or holes are used — one example is a cellulose membrane filter.

Self-Cleaning Filters

Many industries opt for self-cleaning filters because not only are they more economical, they also are less wasteful. This automation minimizes waste, thus labor costs, and creates a more productive process.

Filters self-clean through flushing — whether through direct flushing and backflushing. Many filtration equipment utilizes flushing filters to further optimize the filtration process.   

Filtration is crucial with nearly 119 million Amercians taking some form of a prescription drug we need safe and high-quality products that are effective. This begins in with the initial stages of testing and research and development and spans into creating the end product — every step of the process must be monitored and filtered so as to keep the population safe.  

There is still much more to cover on additional filtration methods and how filter bag housings and filter media from Filter Sciences can help your operation — stay tuned for part two!