Sizing a laboratory freeze drying system
One thing is certain, and that is that every product is different! What matters is that you know the important product characteristics [of all of the potential products from all users in each department] before you size your freeze dryer. There are many considerations, some of which involve utility availability, room HVAC, expected freeze drying volumes and the number of flasks that will be added and be dried at one time. Usage rates are important.
Probably the most important aspect is to choose a person on your staff as the owner of the freeze dryer. This aspect is probably the most important decision you can make. If the dryer is not maintained and controlled, unexpected results can occur. An example is having one user placing ACN containing product onto a manifold while it is already drying and concentrating other products. The sustained pressure rise that occurs during the addition of even a small volume of ACN containing product is sufficient to cause other products to slow down drying sufficiently to “melt back.” Keep in mind that laboratory type systems have many configurations and sizes ranging from one to 30 liters in capacity, with a myriad of accessories which are all application driven. If you do not understand what this means to your success, that is where Applewood Scientific can assist!
If you have a good idea of what this means, then there are other considerations that one can consider such as condensing capacity per unit time, and typical loading patterns to be experienced. Applewood Scientific will be pleased to conduct a survey of those in your organization and make recommendations, taking all aspects of the choice into account.