Mechanistic modelling of the drying behaviour of single pharmaceutical granules

Séverine Thérèse F.C. Mortier, Thomas De Beer, Krist Gernaey, Jurgen Vercruysse, Margot Fonteyne, Jean Paul Remon, Chris Vervaet, Ingmar Nopens

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The trend to move towards continuous production processes in pharmaceutical applications enhances
the necessity to develop mechanistic models to understand and control these processes. This work
focuses on the drying behaviour of a single wet granule before tabletting, using a six-segmented fluidised
bed drying system, which is part of a fully continuous from-powder-to-tablet manufacturing line. The
drying model is based on a model described by Mezhericher et al. [1] and consists of two submodels.
In the first drying phase (submodel 1), the surface water evaporates, while in the second drying phase
(submodel 2), the water inside the granule evaporates. The second submodel contains an empirical power
coefficient, b. A sensitivity analysis was performed to study the influence of parameters on the moisture
content of single pharmaceutical granules, which clearly points towards the importance of b on the drying
behaviour. Experimental data with the six-segmented fluidised bed dryer were collected to calibrate
b. An exponential dependence on the drying air temperature was found. Independent experiments were
done for the validation of the drying model.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Pages (from-to)682-689
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Mechanistic modelling
  • Drying
  • Porous material
  • Pharmaceutical granules
  • Model calibration
  • Model validation

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