AstraZeneca Demonstrates the API Powder Production Process

The pharmaceutical firm shows how active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) powders are made at its Södertälje, Sweden plant.

John S. Forrester, former Managing Editor

June 29, 2021

AstraZeneca Sverige walks viewers through its pharmaceutical production plant in Södertälje, Sweden in this 2016 video to provide an overview of how active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) powders are manufactured.

The video starts with a segment on how the plant receives raw materials from trucks and tankers before transitioning to an overview of the hygiene and safety measures used in the facility.

Viewers are then taken on a guided tour of the AstraZeneca production site and are shown workers pouring solvents and chemicals into reactors. The ingredients are mixed and heated to start a reaction into a wet, dough-like consistency. Solvents are boiled off and then the material is cooled and crystalized to form slurry.

Filtration is used to remove moisture from the slurry before a drying process turns it into a powder. API powder is sent to a formulation process, where it is mixed with solvents, pharmaceutical excipients, and binding agents in a machine. A fluid bed dryer removes moisture and then more pharmaceutical excipients are added to the mixture. Finally, the API powder goes to a tableting line where it is compressed into pills for use by consumers. The tablets are coated in the final production step.

Powder and bulk solids industry professionals should take note of the array of equipment and processes used to create these essential products.

About the Author(s)

John S. Forrester

former Managing Editor, Powder & Bulk Solids

John S. Forrester is the former managing editor of Powder & Bulk Solids.

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