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Asahi Kasei Launches Membrane System To Produce Water for Injection

The membrane system for water injection.
Credit: Asahi Kasei.
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Asahi Kasei has announced that in April 2024 it began selling a membrane system to produce WFI (water for injection), a type of sterile water that is used for the preparation of injections. The membrane system was developed as an alternative to the conventional distillation processes for the production of WFI by leveraging system design and development capabilities of Microza™ hollow-fiber membrane for water treatment and filtration of liquid products. By reducing the need to generate steam, this system enables lower CO2 emissions and lower costs in the production of WFI.

With its Microza™ hollow-fiber membrane, Asahi Kasei has provided membrane filtration solutions in a wide range of fields including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, food processing, environmental protection, and water treatment. Pharmaceutical water, which is used in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process, is one application in which Microza™ has gained a strong reputation among customers for its high filtration performance and outstanding technical support.

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The WFI membrane system is based on steam-sterilizable ultrafiltration (UF) membranes for water treatment that have been widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. Being designed by the membrane manufacturer, the system features a compact form and excellent operability. It offers various advantages compared to the conventional distillation processes, such as a reduced need to generate steam, resulting in lower CO2 emissions and energy costs. It also offers a simplified process with no need for cooling and condensing steam and enables higher water quality to be obtained. Previously published research with the same membranes (Steam Sterilizable UF Module & System) indicates an endotoxin removal rate of >99.999% compared to 99.9% with distillation.

By facilitating a transition from the traditional distillation processes to the membrane filtration processes, Asahi Kasei expects that the new system will allow its customers to reduce CO2 emissions while producing a stable supply of safer WFI for the pharmaceutical industry.