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J Colloid Interface Sci. 1996 Nov 10;183(2):431-40.

The Effect of Humidity on the Physical and Chemical Stability of Spray-Dried Aluminum Hydroxycarbonate

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Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 47907


The moisture sorption isotherm of amorphous spray-dried aluminum hydroxycarbonate (SDAHC) at 25°C revealed that moisture sorption increased sharply when the relative humidity exceeded 80%. The physical and chemical stability of SDAHC was studied for 1 year at 25°C and 0, 11, 54, 84, or 100% RH. The results were interpreted to reveal that two mechanisms affect the properties of SDAHC at 25°C. The sample stored at 0% RH did not exhibit any significant changes during the 1-year study period. The surface area and rate of acid neutralization decreased when samples were stored at 11 or 54% RH, but the material remained amorphous. This change is believed to be due to aggregation and cementation of particles. Much larger changes in surface area and the rate of acid neutralization occurred in the samples aged at 84 or 100% RH. Under these humidity conditions, polymorphic transformations occurred in addition to aggregation and cementation. X-ray diffraction indicated that microcrystalline boehmite was an intermediate phase. The stable polymorph was bayerite, which is believed to form due to the high surface pH produced by water sorption at 84 or 100% RH. The moisture sorption isotherm was useful in identifying the humidity conditions which resulted in high moisture sorption. Polymorphic transformations were only detected when the SDAHC was aged under these humidity conditions.

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