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Case Study: Use of Dry Compressed Air in Pharmaceutical Applications

Case Study: Use of Dry Compressed Air in Pharmaceutical Applications

Delair , Case Study


Delair India specializes in designing, engineering and manufacturing of compressed air and gas drying systems – refrigeration & adsorption type. The company is largest in compressed air treatment in terms of numbers of units sold, customer base, sales & service network, and capacity of single unit. Delair manufactures refrigeration dryers, desiccant dryers, gas dryers, air receivers, after coolers, moisture separators, air filters and auto drain valves.




  • Conveying – pills, capsules, tablets, packaging materials
  • Spray system
  • Oxidation process
  • Slides in process circuit
  • Packaging
  • Cleaning – bottles and containers
  • Aseptic packaging



A major problem in compressed air systems is the presence of water, dust particles, oil (oil particles are introduced by lubricated air compressors) and solid contaminants which can adversely affect air quality.

  • Moisture in compressed air may change the colour of tablet coating
  • There should not be dust while powder coating process
  • Moisture can react with chemicals
  • Moisture results in blisters in tablets
  • Moisture may result in breakage of tablets

If moisture laden compressed air is used through pneumatic tools and machines, it may lead to following problems:

  • Malfunctioning of pneumatic tools and machines
  • Sluggish and inconsistent operation of valves and cylinder
  • Corrosion in pipe lines, cylinder and other components
  • Increase in downtime
  • Increase in maintenance cost of pneumatic machines / tools / controls.
  • Freezing in exposed lines during cold weather

Majority of the pharmaceutical products are highly hygroscopic and tend to suffer physical, enzymatic, microbiological and biochemical deterioration after coming in contact with moisture laden compressed air.

Containers requires reliable clean-out and evacuation to meet stringent quality standards.


Delair offers wide range of refrigeration dryer and adsorption dryers which removes water/moisture, dust particles, oil (oil particles are introduced by lubricated air compressors) and solid contaminants from compressed air.


Delair Dryer operates on the method of cooling the air to near freezing point to remove the moisture and reheating it to approximately 10°C below the incoming compressed air temperature at nominal conditions.


The Dryer is based on the principle of heatless regeneration and the physical properties of the desiccant to adsorb and desorb the water vapour. It uses pressure swing principle/purge air to regenerate the desiccant bed.


Delair also offers Pre Filters and Oil Filters which removes dust particles, oil particles and other types of solid contaminated present in dry air.


Current Applications being served by DELAIR India for use of dry compressed air in pharmaceutical applications:


  • Jet Mill Application
  • Instrumentation air for labs & Measuring Sections
  • Nitrogen/N2 Generation for Process Air
  • Instruments Air at API 3 Section
  • Pneumatic Tools & Fixtures application through Centralized Utility Section
  • Tablet Compression Punching Machines operated by DRY Air -air comes into direct contact of tablets
  • Packaging of Liquid Form medicines Syrups through DRY Pneumatic force air 


Major clients where we replaced their existing old refrigeration type air dryers due to that they were facing lots of moisture issues & rejection in final products


  • Recipharm Pharmaservices - Bangalore
  • Cipla Ltd. - Virgonagar Bangalore
  • Cipla Ltd. -JIGNI Bangalore
  • Mahima Lifesciences Ltd - Sonipat Haryana
  • Medreich Ltd. - Bangalore
  • Avantika Medex Ltd. - Ahmedabad
  • Sunpharma Ltd. - Baddi
  • IPCA Laboratories Ltd. - Pitampur, Indore, Roha, Dehradun
  • Unichem Laboratories Ltd -Ghaziabad, Aurangabad, Pitampur
  • Quality Needles Ltd Noida & Many more


Case Study Summary


These customers used to have old compressors and outdated refrigerated air dryers at their facility locations. They were facing moisture issues in their applications, even though their engineering and plant utility teams knew about these challenges. The problem was using the wrong products, which resulted in achieving a very low dew point temperature of +5 to +7 degrees Celsius. At this dew point temperature, compressed air still retained moisture particles.

Due to infrastructure and budget constraints, they couldn't upgrade the entire compressed air system. However, their applications required a minimum dew point temperature of -20 degrees Celsius (PDP) and a maximum of -40 degrees Celsius (PDP) for 100% dry air, meeting Class 1 Air Quality standards per ISO 8573-1:2010.

Recently, these customers switched to our DESICCANT Dryers (DD series) filled with high-quality desiccant material called DELSORB 21 (Molecular sieve). Since then, they have experienced no operational issues or challenges, and all units are running satisfactorily, achieving the desired dew point temperature for their applications.

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Articles about articles | February - 08 - 2024



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