ILC Dover’s JetMixer: an efficient method of liquefying powders

Chloe Kent 18 February 2019 (Last Updated January 16th, 2020 10:04)

Hydrating a range of powders efficiently and without contamination in an ever-increasing volume is an essential operation of biopharmaceutical manufacturing.  The JetMixer™ System, designed and built by ILC Dover, is the optimum solution for this hydration demand where complete, low shear mixing and maintenance of product purity are required.

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ILC Dover’s JetMixer: an efficient method of liquefying powders
ILC Dover’s JetMixer™ System efficiently mixes powder into liquid. Credit: ILC Dover

Hydrating a range of powders efficiently and without contamination in an ever-increasing volume is an essential operation of biopharmaceutical manufacturing.  The JetMixer™ System, designed and built by ILC Dover, is the optimum solution for this hydration demand where complete, low shear mixing and maintenance of product purity are required.

A simple mixing principle means an easy-to-operate, easy-to-maintain powder handling solution

The JetMixer™ employs a fundamentally simple operating principle to add and mix powder into liquid. With no moving parts employed at the powder/liquid mixing point (in fact, a single pump is the only moving part within this processing device), there are no issues with powder blockages and clumping that are common with other devices; the powder flow into the liquid stream is smooth and measured.

The device has only one moving part, a pump which provides the driving force needed for the JetMixer to operate. This keeps energy consumption low, reducing the operating costs and maintenance upkeep of the JetMixer™. It also improves the longevity of the apparatus, as the pump is robust and simple to clean and can easily endure viscous solutions.

The smooth, polished flow channels for both the liquid and powder makes the system ideal for CIP processes where cross-contamination must be avoided.  It is also suitable for steam sterilisation.

However, it is the patented venturi nozzle system which makes all the difference and sets the JetMixer™ apart from the other methods used to add powder to liquid. The venturi nozzle can thus ensure uniformly mixed, homogeneous fluid production across a wide range of applications.

What is the simple operating principle?

The nozzle generates an accelerated jet of air, which draws powder into the liquid stream without allowing excessive heating, clumping, or shearing. In fact, virtually no shear forces are exerted on the powder whatsoever, meaning its chemical and physical properties will be well preserved.

The constant ventri-generated vacuum and hopper system allows for particle-by-particle induction and mixing. This helps prevent bridging and improves the mixing process, even with highly viscous fluids of up to 10,000 cP. The JetMixer™ venturi nozzle allows for rapid mixing and complete dissolution of powder.

The device is also ergonomically designed to promote worker safety, operating at floor level, thus avoiding the need to transport powder bags to upper levels to charge to a tank. Available in compact, mobile and fixed skid-mounted formats, the JetMixer™ can additionally be easily configured for dust-free and highly-contained environments.

The system can be configured to be fully compatible with nitrogen blanketing and jacketing available to enable heating and cooling as the powder addition process requires. These options make the JetMixer™ an incredibly versatile device, as one individual system can be used for several processes.

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