Improving Product Quality with Continuous Blenders

Achievement date: 
2014
Outcome/accomplishment: 

Researchers at the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (C-SOPS), headquartered at Rutgers University, have completed a proof-of-concept study demonstrating the superiority of continuous blenders over batch blenders. This work addresses pharmaceutical manufacturing processes limited by particle size.

Impact/benefits: 

The goal of this study was to improve mixture properties for formulations that exhibit a high tendency to segregate. In practice, larger particles are used to combat poor mixing and create more consistent products. Successful completion of this study suggests that using continuous blenders will allow the use of smaller particles and thereby improve manufacturing processes and product quality.

Explanation/Background: 

The data show that samples from the continuous blender were several times more uniform than those from the batch blender. The team used mustard seeds mixed into a cellulose matrix to conduct this study. Samples were taken and weighed. The matrix was then sieved off and the dry seeds were weighed again. By comparing the weights, the team was able to derive seed concentration and directly measure uniformity.