Tunable Diode Laser Absorption Spectroscopy Allows Real Time Monitoring of Water Solvent Drying

AMETEK Process Instruments demonstrates cost and time saving advance for pharmaceutical manufacturers

AMETEK Process Instruments (www.ametekpi.com) has successfully demonstrated that tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS) can provide the advantages of continuous process control of pharmaceutical drying to manufacturers using water as their primary solvent.


  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Bulk powder drying and processing
Pharmaceutical quality control requires that the drying process be stopped periodically and samples removed for Loss on Drying (LOD) analysis. If the product is not dry, the process is restarted and allowed to run for an indeterminate period. This time-consuming process is repeated until the LOD achieves a predetermined value.

However, the growing number of pharmaceutical makers who have moved to aqueous-based processing can now use TDLAS technology as a lower-cost, time-saving procedure to determine dryer end-point. The continuous real-time monitoring can pinpoint the exact moment when a product has dried as much as possible. This determination is then confirmed by LOD analysis, eliminating numerous stops and re-starts of the drying process.

Trial Demonstrates Effectiveness of TDLAS in Water Solvent Drying

Working with a pharmaceutical manufacturer, AMETEK Process Instruments set up a production trial using its Model 5100 HD analyzer to monitor the batch production of a widely prescribed medication whose synthesis involves the use of water as the final rinse agent.

The trial demonstrated that TDLAS techniques could be used to continuously monitor and control the solvent drying process online, in real time, without operator intervention or process interruption. The results further indicated that TDLAS has the potential to significantly reduce drying times, while improving both production and product quality for pharmaceutical manufacturers and other bulk powder producers who rely on water as the principal solvent in their processes. Because TDLAS is a non-contact technique, it offers fast response speeds, which can mean substantial savings in both time and cost.

The Model 5100 analyzer is a highly versatile instrument that utilizes TDLAS technology in a variety of configurations, including single- and dual-laser platforms with one or two sample cells for measuring different process components simultaneously. It can provide on-line, real-time process control of moisture over a wide range of levels down to 4 parts per million, or 2%, of the reading, whichever is greater, based on the moisture level requirements of a drying chamber.

About AMETEK Process Instruments

AMETEK Process Instruments is a unit of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices.  It offers the industry’s most extensive line of process instruments with analyzers based upon eleven differentiated technology platforms. Those analyzers are used by markets ranging from oil, gas, and power to pharmaceutical and semiconductor chip manufacturing. 

Product Sales Contacts:
Germany, India
Jochen Geiger
(t) 49-2159-9136-0
(f) 49-2158-9136-39

AMETEK Process Instruments
India Private Ltd.
Tel +91-80-6782-3200

Japan, China
Rubin Huang
AMETEK Beijing
Tel +86-10-8526-2111

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