Visualisation of Pharmaceutical Fluidised Beds

The University has been leading research into electrical capacitance tomography (ECT) since the late 1980s. The latest ECT system has been used for visualisation of pharmaceutical fluidised beds for drying, granulation and coating.

Currently, fluidised beds in the pharmaceutical industry are operated by trial-and-error because of the lack of online tools for solids moisture measurement. ECT can provide online visualisation of gas-solids distribution and online measurement of solids moisture and moisture distribution.

This is important for enhancing operation efficiency, reducing energy consumption and more importantly for the control of product quality. Recently, the patented technology was tested in a full-scale industrial fluidised bed MP-4 (1 meter in diameter).

In the image above, the operation of three nozzles of FlexStreamTM can be clearly seen. This work is supported by EPSRC and UMIP, in collaboration with GEA Pharma Systems Ltd., AstraZeneca, Sherwood Scientific Ltd. and Dupont, and has been short-listed for the finals of the IET Innovation Awards 2009.

Two papers published by Measurement Science and Technology in 2010 and 2011 were selected to appear on the cover.

  1. Wuqiang Yang, Design of electrical capacitance tomography sensors, Meas. Sci. and Technol., 21 (4), 2010, 042001 (13 pp)
  2. Haigang Wang and Wuqiang Yang, Scale-up of electrical capacitance tomography (ECT) sensor for imaging pharmaceutical fluidised beds and validation by computational fluid dynamics (CFD), Meas. Sci. and Technol., 22 (10), 2011, 104015 (11 pp)


▲ Up to the top