• Article

Evaluation of atomizer performance in production of respirable spray-dried particles

The purpose of this study was to analyze atomizer performance in the production of respirable spray-dried particles. An ultrasonic nebulizer and a plain-jet airblast atomizer were evaluated in an open cycle, cocurrent spray-drying tower using a 0.5% w/v disodium fluorescein solution. The plain-jet airblast atomizer produced smaller initial droplet sizes (D32 = 4.5-4.8 microns) relative to the ultrasonic nebulizer (D32 = 20-48 microns) over a range of atomizer operating conditions. The airblast atomizer was selected for further analysis in two spray-drying tower configurations: grounded and electrostatically charged. The spray-dried particles produced by the airblast atomizer were of a size range (mass median aerodynamic diameter [MMAD] < 1.6 microns) suitable for inhalation. Significant differences were observed for the grounded and electrostatically charged tower configurations, the latter producing the smaller median particle size at the expense of decreased collection efficiency. The electrostatically charged tower was size selective because of diffusion charging, retaining particles with an aerodynamic diameter (Dae) in the range 1 < Dae < 2 microns. The particle size was reduced with decreasing ambient relative humidity, although a controlled study of this parameter would be required to explicitly define its effects


Dunbar, CA., Concessio, NM., & Hickey, A. (1998). Evaluation of atomizer performance in production of respirable spray-dried particles. Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, 3(4), 433-441.