In the previous blog i.e. Utilities: Arteries of processes, we discussed about utilities that are required for different processes in the pharmaceutical drugs manufacturing. In the basic narration we understood about two different basic categories defined as Clean Utility & Black Utility. We even understood about various types and their categorization depending upon their uses in the various processes and applications. If we recall again about Black Utilities and Clean Utilities are including segregation of Steam, Water & Compressed Air.

Clean Utilities – Pure Steam, Purified Water, Water for Injection.

Black Utilities – Portable Water, Soft Water, Steam, Compressed Air.

Beginning with this blog we will try to dig dipper in the details of each above utility categories. This will be beginning with Steam its Generation, selection and application.  


Steam is water in the gas phase. This may occur due to evaporation or due to boiling, where heat is applied until water reaches the enthalpy of vaporization. Application of steam in the process will be depend upon the facility that we are designing.

In OSD facility mainly considering Tablet & Capsule manufacturing dosages forms normal steam will be used in processes like FBD where it would be used for moisture extraction during the granulation process. Another use is in Binder preparation which is again in granulation section. The raw steam is also used in AHU of Auto-coater section required to generate dry air use in tablet coating for evaporation of solvent during tablet coating.

When it comes to OLD manufacturing facility mainly for Liquid manufacturing for syrup, normal steam is used for melting, maintain temperature for manufacturing vessel, and sugar syrup preparation. In the process of Ointment manufacturing raw steam will again utilize in the process of Wax melting.

Injectable & Intravenous (IV), manufacturing under categories like LVP & SVP, Eye drop facility, preparation of water for injection etc. In these processes Autoclaves are majorly used with superheated steam for terminal sterilization in which temperature always maintain at 120˚C for defined sterilization time. In this sterilization pure steam is used internally for sterilization & normal steam is used for heating Autoclave jacket.  

Apart from above application in the process, steam is always used for sterilization of different process tanks, material transfer pumps and some of the process piping. In the process of purified water generation steam is used to increase temperature of jacketed tank may be up to 80 ˚C.

Selection of Steam Generator (Boiler):

Selection of Boiler is very important and it is entirely depend upon amount of Steam that is going too utilized during the process used for manufacturing. Talking more about Boiler they are categorized depending upon their operational fuel used and type of steam generation process. Also there are some important factors required to be consider like a wet back boiler’s rear wall is surrounded by water, whereas a dry back boiler’s rear wall is lined with refractory. The wet back boiler is more efficient than the dry back boiler since the heat from combustion is utilized to heat the water.

Type of Boilers –

  1. Coal Fired Boiler
  2. Gas Fired Boiler
  3. Solid Fuel Boiler
  4. Oil fired Boiler
  5. Duel fire Boiler

In general, most of the pharmaceutical manufacturing processes prefer Multi fuel Boilers for generation of steam.  The selection is also depending upon the surrounding environmental conditions, available water use in boiler, easiness of fuel available around the plant etc. If the steam requirement is less than 1 kg/cm2 then usually Non IBR boiler is going to select. Similarly, if it’s more than 1 kg/cm2 then IBR type boiler will be used. Manufacturers like Thermax & Forbe’s Marshall are good experiences manufactures who are professional in Steam Generator manufacturing & Steam Engineering.

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