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The Role Of pH And Residue In Pharmaceutical Cleaning

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By Malcolm McLaughlin, Alconox

A great deal is known about how pH affects aqueous critical cleaning. Typically, alkaline cleaners are used on oily residues and acidic cleaners are used on inorganic residues. Robust fully formulated cleaners that contain wetting agents, emulsifiers, dispersants, chelating agents and anti-redeposition agents will give the broadest and most robust residue removal. Different types of residues are best cleaned by either an alkaline or acidic cleaner. The following table outlines the types of chemical structures found in pharmaceutical residues that are best cleaned by either acid or base. Some residues can be cleaned by either, but will tend to lean toward one type for most efficient results.

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