Twin screw wet granulation: the study of a continuous twin screw granulator using Positron Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT) technique.Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2012 Aug; 81(3):666-73.EJ
In this paper, Positron Emission Particle Tracking (PEPT) techniques are utilised to track the trajectory of single particles through the mixing and conveying zones of a Twin Screw Granulator (TSG). A TSG consisting of conveying zones and mixing zones is used in this study. The mixing zones are arranged with kneading discs at an angle of 30°, 60° or 90°. Experiments were carried out using different mixing configurations with various screw speed and total mass flow rate. The PEPT data obtained were then utilised to obtain the residence time distribution (RTD) and the Peclet number in an attempt to gain some insight into the mixing of the process. The fill level of the granulator was also estimated to study the mechanism of granulation. As might be expected, it was shown that the residence time of the granulation process increases with decreasing screw speed. It also increases with increasing angle of the arrangement of kneading blocks in the mixing zones, but will decreases when powder feed rate is increased. The fill level of the mixing zone in particular increases when the screw speed decreases or when powder feed rate increases. Furthermore, the fill level of the granulator will increase when the mixing zone configuration changes from 30° to 90°. It is shown that the granulator is never fully filled, even using 90° mixer elements implying limited compaction which may explain why the granules produced are porous compared with those from a high shear mixer. Interestingly, the RTD analysis reveals that the extent of axial mixing in the mixing zone of the granulator does not change significantly for different configurations and process conditions. There is evidence of a tail in the RTD which implies some material hold up and channelling.