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Vent & Process Gas Filtration to Protect Product Quality

In addition to filtering all of the liquids used in active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and biopharmaceutical production, air and process gases must also be filtered to prevent contaminants from entering the process. Read more about air and gas filtration below, or go to the product selection table at the bottom of this page for filter options.”

Tank Vent Filters

Controlling the contamination of ingredients, intermediate products, water and the final product while they are in a tank is critical to the quality of the finished products. Adding a liquid to a tank forces air out, just as emptying a tank draws outside air into it. Since the air around tanks is full of airborne bacteria, mold spores and other contaminants, filters are used to prevent those contaminants from reaching the contents of the tanks. Consideration should be given to the temperatures that the vent filter will be exposed to. Long durations at elevated temperatures or repeated steamings may accelerate oxidation of many filter materials.

Filtering Process Gases

Normal atmosphere is sometimes not allowed to contact the product either in process or in the final package. This is done if oxygen might promote the growth of undesired organisms or cause oxidation of the product. Normal air may be replaced in tanks and/or containers with inert process gases – possibly nitrogen, argon or carbon dioxide. Tanks are filled with the gas as liquid is removed and the gas is allowed to escape when the tanks are filled. During final packaging, as containers are filled, a process gas 'blanket' may be injected into the container to displace air before container closure.

In applications such as fermentation in biopharmaceutical production, compressed air is used to aerate the cell culture and allow the organisms to thrive. Filters are used to block potential contaminants like particles or organisms. This protects the most critical asset of a biopharmaceutical operation, the organisms that produce the product.

Sizing a Vent Filter System
In all pharmaceutical systems, the tanks used are sealed. That makes sizing a vent filter system critical. A filter system that overly restricts the flow of air in and out of the tank may result in the tank being over-pressurized (possible seal damage) or a vacuum being created in the tank (potential tank collapse). Critical Process Filtration has years of experience sizing filter systems and can help you design your system to avoid such issues. To estimate the number of filters you will need for your application, use our unique sizing tools.


Vent and Process Gas Filters in Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical Processes

Choosing the Right Filter Media

All tank and process gas filtration is done using hydrophobic filter membranes. Being hydrophobic, the membrane prevents water droplets from collecting on and wetting the membrane, which would block the flow of air or gas. This could lead to tank failure or prevent air from being displaced in containers and jeopardize product quality. Filters with 0.22μm pore sizes are usually used because of their ability to block bacteria.

Custom systems are designed for new applications and to solve challenges in existing processes. Critical Process Filtration will work with you to design, build and install a cost-effective system that delivers the results you need. Contact us or visit our custom filtration systems page for more information.

Application Summaries

To read more about the ways you can protect your product from airborne contaminants, click on one of the links below. Critical Process Filtration has created some short explanations of how filters help protect tank contents.

Critical Process Filtration has hydrophobic filter options to meet various contamination control needs. Whether for control of dust and visible particles or to prevent bacterial contamination, the filters you need are available from Critical Process Filtration. The table below shows those options with links to more detailed data on the filters.

Click on the in the appropriate location to download a data sheet for the filter media and configuration that fits your needs.

Media Code Filter Media Filter Grade Cartridge Data Sheet Capsule Data Sheet Disc Filter Data Sheet Pore Sizes Available (µm) Features
BPVWB Hydrophobic Polyvinylidene fluoride Membrane Biopharmaceutical
0.22 High capacity hydrophobic membrane for economical bacteria control in vent filtration
PTM PTFE Membrane Pharmaceutical
0.1, 0.22, 0.45, 1.0 Highly hydrophobic with superior air flow rates for vent filtration
PTM HT High-Temperature PTFE Membrane Pharmaceutical
0.1, 0.22 Highly hydrophobic and constructed using high temperature materials for systems subjected to frequent heat sanitizations or elevated process temperatures.  Superior flow rates for vent filtration

To estimate the number of filters you will need for your application, use our unique sizing tools.

The filter media used for each process must, of course, be compatible with the fluids used in it. Contact Critical Process Filtration for assistance in determining the compatibility of filter media and support materials with your process.