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Studies of particle drying using non-invasive Raman spectrometry and particle size analysis

Hamilton, Peter and Littlejohn, David and Nordon, Alison and Sefcik, Jan and Slavin, Paul and Dallin, Paul and Andrews, John (2011) Studies of particle drying using non-invasive Raman spectrometry and particle size analysis. Analyst, 136 (10). pp. 2168-2174. ISSN 0003-2654

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Abstract

The evaporation of methanol from needle-shaped particles of cellobiose octaacetate (COA) has been studied directly in a jacketed vacuum drier using in situ measurements by Raman spectrometry. A design of experiments (DoE) approach was used to investigate the effects of three parameters ( method of agitation, % solvent loss on drying and jacket temperature), with the intention of minimising the drying time and extent of particle attrition. Drying curves based on Raman signals for methanol and COA in the spectra of the wet particles indicated the end of drying and revealed three stages in the drying process that could be used to monitor the progress of solvent removal in real time. Off-line particle size measurements based on laser diffraction were made to obtain information on the extent of attrition, to compare with the trends revealed by the Raman drying curves. The study demonstrated that non-invasive Raman spectrometry can be used to study the progress of drying during agitation of particles in a vacuum drier, allowing optimisation of operating conditions to minimise attrition and reduce drying times. Although a correlation between particle size and off-line Raman measurements of COA was demonstrated, it was not possible to derive equivalent information from the in situ Raman spectra owing to the greater effects of particle motion or bulk density variations of the particles in the drier.