Mono fluid thermoregulation in pharmaceutical industry

Mono fluid thermoregulation systems are gaining more and more ground within the pharmaceutical sector, for the precise temperature regulation of reactors. These solutions allow to achieve the chemical reactions required for the production of active principal ingredients, for example, carefully following production recipes that require a defined thermal program.

Mono fluid thermoregulation units are therefore systems that, if properly programmed, allow to follow the thermal scheme of a reactor or a chemical equipment. The units allow to monitor, control and regulate temperatures of the product inside the reactor. Mono fluid thermoregulation employs a circulating pump, ensuring the flow of the fluid between the jacket of the reactor, or the half pipe of the equipment, and an array of heat exchangers, or electrical heaters. The whole system is managed by an electronic regulator that controls the temperature of the fluid.

On the secondary circuit it is possible to have vapour, employed to heat the fluid, and refrigerated water or cooling tower water for the cooling of it. If vapour is not available, a heating section can be employed using electrical resistors, managed as well by the electronic regulator.

The system can be managed by remote using a PLC, an electronic regulator or other interfaces. It is then possible to control a quite varied range of temperatures, starting from under zero temperatures down to -30°, going up to very high temperatures, reaching also 250° C. Depending on the range of temperature required, the fluid employed will be simple water, or glicol water with anti-freeze to reach low temperatures. Pressurized water, over-heated, is employed to reach temperatures up to 140° C, and finally diathermic oils or silicone oils are employed for high temperatures.

Diathermic oil is usually employed for plants involving only high temperatures, while silicone oil, or synthetic oil, is used in plants requiring a wide range of temperature regulation, from under zero up to very high temperatures. These oils have indeed the characteristic of having a good flowing property at low temperatures, and also offer good thermodynamic and physic properties at very high temperatures.

These units can be provided compliant to several regulations, depending on the kind of application or the Country of installation. Taking about chemical and pharmaceutical industry, it will very common to be in presence of an explosion risk environment, thus requiring an Atex execution. If the units are for installation within the United States these will be compliant with UL regulations, while if the destination is Russia they will be provided with EAC certification.

Very often mono fluid thermoregulating units have to be combined with dedicated refrigerating groups, not directly integrated within the unit in order to ensure production continuity in case for example of a fault in the cooling section. This kind of thermoregulation systems must indeed be conceived to ensure maximum flexibility, maximum reliability and extreme precision in temperature control.

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