taPrime Consulting Ltd

Blog Archive


Nothing better to do? 

Well, we are really pleased you do want to read our old blogs.





June 2017  Can Coca-Cola Reduce your Primary Dryng Time?  Controlled nucleation reduces primary drying time by aligning ice crystals. Other industries go further and use both temperature gradients and additives to direct the ice crystal architecture of a frozen solution. Why has the pharmaceutical industry not developed the use of formulation to control product morphology and process cycle time?

April 2016  Convert your Freeze Drier to controlled Nucleation for under £10.  If you look beyond the pharmaceutical industry, the principles of uni-axial alignment of ice crystals, by bottom up controlled nucleation, were demonstrated almost 40 years ago.  There are even reasons to believe that bottom up nucleation can be superior to top down nucleation when it comes to reducing primary drying times.  And you may need nothing more complicated than a polystyrene block or even a cardboard box.

November 2015  Panic's Edge is an anagram of Design Space and perhaps fittingly so.  Do we do the right thing?  Would doing the right thing effectively put a nail in the coffin of Design Space?

June 2015  The Unbearable Improbability of Freezing. We take it for granted that when we cool a solution, it will freeze.  But freezing is neither simple, nor something to be taken for granted.  In fact one could ask the question why do millilitre volumes of water freeze at all?  

February 2015  Anomalous Water.  Not Polywater or any specially treated "magic" water.  Just plain ordinary water, except that the properties of water are far from plain or ordinary.

March 2014  Resistivity  In 25 years, I have only once found the electrical resistance output from a freeze dryer to be helpful.  So why do equipment manufacturer's still include this measurement option?.  In the 11 months that this blog was featured on the site, not a single person responded to the challenge to use a plot of resistivity against temperature to determine a freeze drying cycle for sucrose.  Can you do better?  Read the blog and take up the challenge.

January 2014  What is a eutectic?  Why is the concept of eutectic crystallisation and melting, so poorly understood?

September 2013  More Pressure revisits the topic of the effects of pressure in freeze drying. In particular the confusing fact that, depending on circumstances, both increasing the pressure, and decreasing the pressure can lead to a higher rate of sublimation

August 2013 Why Freeze Dry?  People give many reasons why they freeze dry products, but perhaps the reason why freeze drying is so popular may be something most people do not think about. 

July 2013 Musing about Moons  Space is a vacuum and icy moons should sublime.  Why are they still there?   In this blog we calculate the primary drying time of Enceladus, an icy moon of Saturn.  The surprising answer teaches us an important lesson..

June 2013 FDA Guidelines The FDA Guide to the Inspections of Lyophilization of parenterals is outdated and misleading.

May 2013 A Lesson from the Lakes Considers what the persistence of frozen lakes in Sweden during April tells us about fast and slow cooling in a freeze drier. It also compares some properties of water to those of gold and of bricks.

April 2013 Under Pressure  Reviews some aspects of pressure settings and invites your opinion, especially on the question "should we consider equipment design when setting pressure?"

March 2013 Freeze Drying cells?  There is a common misconception which still persists in the literature.

February 2013 Life in the fridge: Protein unfolding, frozen frogs and life on the edge

January 2013 The Mpemba Effect Does it make sense to warm vials before freezing?

December 2012 Courses and confidentiality

November 2012 Freeze Drying: A Quality by Design Dream?


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