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Chementator: Sonocrystallization makes a salty spray

By Chemical Engineering |

Sodium chloride aerosols are widely used as part of bronchial provocation tests to identify people with asthma, and those who wish to enter military or police service. To maximize their effectiveness, salt aerosol crystals should be as small as possible (< 5 μm dia.), but current production methods, such as milling, spray drying, and antisolvent crystallization, tend to produce NaCl particles that are either too large or of the wrong shape, says Ali Abbas, assistant professor at the school of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU; Singapore; edlinks. chemengonline.com/5830-532). Together with colleagues from the Dept. of Chemical Engineering and the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney (Australia) and the Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge), NTU researchers have developed a simple and rapid method for making NaCl particles suitable for inhalation. The process relies on the use of high-intensity ultrasound during recrystallization, which leads to a narrow particle size distribution of micron-sized NaCl crystals. For example, performing sonocrystallization at 5°C using a power of 35 W results in NaCl crystals with a mass-median diameter of 1.05±0.04…
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