Sterilization processes in the pharmaceutical industry

Piero M. Armenante, Otute Akiti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


Industrial sterilization processes can be defined as those operations having as objective the destruction, permanent inactivation, or physical removal of all microorganisms. In the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, different sterilization methods are applied to materials, equipment, and products of different chemical composition and physical characteristics. This chapter explores the sterilization processes currently used in the industrial practice: thermal sterilization processes, radiation sterilization processes, chemical sterilization processes and sterile filtration processes. Thermal sterilization is the most commonly used sterilization method in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Industrial radiation sterilization processes utilize electron beams, gamma rays, or X-rays. Chemical sterilization is typically used for system that cannot be sterilized by other methods or for which other sterilization approaches would be impractical. Sterile filtration processes utilize both depth filters, as prefilters, in order to remove the larger amount of particle and microbial contaminants in the fluid and membrane filters, as the final sterilizing filters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChemical Engineering in the Pharmaceutical Industry
Number of pages69
ISBN (Electronic)9781119600800
ISBN (Print)9781119285496
StatePublished - Apr 13 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


  • Biotechnology industries
  • Chemical sterilization processes
  • Industrial sterilization processes
  • Pharmaceutical industries
  • Radiation sterilization processes
  • Sterile filtration processes
  • Thermal sterilization processes


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