Measuring the Foam Level in Pharmaceutical Bioreactor Vessels

The Problem

If the foam in pharmaceutical bioreactor vessels reaches too high a level, it can foul filters. This fouling can result in processes being disrupted and batches of sample or product being irreversibly damaged.

When this happens, foam within the vent line will need cleaning or filters will need to be replaced – both these actions can cause damage to the vacuum pump. Additionally, the use of de-foaming agent is costly and can upset the process if not made use of in an efficient fashion.

Point Level Measurement technologies like floats and vibration are unable to detect foam, while technologies like ultrasonic gap switches and conductivity are often unreliable when used for foam detection.

The Solution

The solution to these problems lies with the use of Drexelbook instruments. The company’s RF Admittance switches can rapidly respond to any conductive or water-based foam, thus helping prevent batch loss and protecting filters and vacuum pumps.

The use of these instruments helps reduce cost as de-foaming agent need only be dispensed when foam reaches a specific, fixed point. Sensors are available in sanitary designs which can accommodate a diverse array of pressure and temperature requirements.

Point Level Switches from Drexelbrook do not need to be calibrated – they just need power and can be used right away.

Additionally, RF switches from Drexelbrook do not need to be maintained as they do not contain moving parts. In fact, The Intellipoint™ RF Admittance switch has had its Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) calculated to over 110 years, using an Intellipoint loop powered model and tested by Exida.com.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Drexelbrook.

For more information on this source, please visit Drexelbrook.

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