Mass Spectrometry to Optimize the Freeze Drying Process

The mass spectrometer is a very effective process analytical technology (PAT) tool for freeze drying

Process monitoring of water vapour concentration

Due to its high flexibility, the mass spectrometer can be used to monitor the water vapor concentration as well as other existing gases (e.g., nitrogen, oxygen). By monitoring the water vapor content, the end point of the main and subsequent drying process can be determined much more accurately than is possible with the help of comparative pressure measurement, for example. This provides new opportunities for optimization, particularly, in the development of freeze-drying processes.
Detect silicone oil leaks in time

The shelves of production freeze dryers are predominantly tempered with silicone oil. Temperature and pressure fluctuations as well as mechanical stress during the positioning of the adjusting plates cause leaks over time. Due to the initially small amounts of silicone oil, several batches can already be contaminated before the leak is detected. It is important to detect possible silicone leakages as soon as they occur and thus avoid high follow-up costs. The PrismaPro from Pfeiffer Vacuum with proven mass spectrometer technology is an outstanding solution for this leak detection.

Pfeiffer Vacuum works closely with the manufacturers of freeze-drying systems when integrating the mass spectrometer into the production system. Pfeiffer Vacuum delivers the complete mass spectrometer system including turbopumping station, measuring technology and control valve and provides support for integration into the controller of the freeze dryer.

Customer benefits

  • Optimum adaptability due to modular design
  • High performance in spite of compact size
  • A variety of interfaces make for simple systems integration
  • Networkable through Ethernet
  • High measurement speed, stability and high resolution
  • Flexible operation thanks to interchangeable analyzers and electronics
  • Two filaments mean maximum up-time
  • Lowest detectable partial pressure 3 ·10-15 hPa (mbar)
  • Easy total pressure measurement due to directly connectable gauges
  • Saving of time through intuitive operation of the PV MassSpec software
  • World-class support and worldwide on-site service
  • Easy integration thanks to disclosed JSON programming interface

The PrismaPro produces precise measurements with a detection limit of up to 3E-15 hPa. Depending on the application, one can choose between 1-100, 1-200 or 1-300 amu. The smallest contaminations in a vacuum system can be detected in a minimum of time using Faraday detectors or secondary electron multipliers. For monitoring total pressure and for protection of the mass spectrometer, a gauge can be connected directly to the PrismaPro.

  • process monitoring

  • mass spectrometry

  • freeze-drying

  • process analytical technology

  • water vapor concentration

  • quality assurance

  • mass spectrometers

  • quadrupole mass spectrometers

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