Water for Injection (WFI)

May 21, 2019 Categories: Opinion Piece - Pharmaceutical

Water for Injection (WFI) is a key ingredient of many pharmaceutical products and can also be used in its own right, for example to irrigate wounds. Typically, WFI is recirculated at temperatures in excess of 167°F to prevent microbial growth; however the take-off points for product manufacturing require WFI at ambient temperatures.

Globally, WFI is vital for the safe and effective operation of pharmaceutical manufacturing plants and as such, it must meet stringent regulatory standards of purity. The HRS SP Series (formerly known as the F Series) of pharmaceutical heat exchangers is specifically designed to provide the necessary levels of hygiene for such applications, while being much more efficient than traditional smooth tube heat exchangers.

HRS recently supplied technology to one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing organisations, supplying three heat exchangers to cool WFI at its production facility in Melbourne,  Australia. The site uses WFI as the bulk excipient ingredient in the formulation of sterile pharmaceutical products, as well as in equipment cleaning processes.

Matt Hale, International Sales & Marketing Director HRS Heat Exchangers, explains:

The HRS SP Series of heat exchangers is specifically designed to comply with the strict plant and high quality standards that are crucial for WFI. Our experience with such installations means that the SP Series is also backed up by all the standards and documentation necessary for pharmaceutical installations. The SP Series is made entirely from stainless steel with a double tube plate to avoid cross contamination. Also featuring an ASME BPE clamp finish on the tube side, the range is ideal for WFI applications. In addition, because they feature HRS corrugated tube technology, they are much more efficient than normal smooth tube heat exchangers, meaning that they can be made smaller to fit into restricted spaces, while multiple units can be interconnected and frame-mounted for larger projects.

High capacity with low pressure drop
The three SP Series heat exchangers are capable of cooling up to 14 tonnes of WFI per hour from an average temperature of 176°F to around 35ºF using chilled water, with a pressure drop of just 1.45 PSI. The units were installed within four months of the first quotation being delivered.

Commenting on the completed installation, the client’s Project Engineer added:

HRS was awarded the tender contract as they offered the best price, with references confirming the quality of similar HRS equipment was good. HRS also offered the most compact design; that was an important factor due to the limited space available in the plant room. We would comfortably use HRS again for heat exchangers in future projects.

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