Effectiveness study of recrystallisation method in pharmaceutical salt production from processed salt with zero waste concept

T. Widjaja, A. Altway, S. Nurkhamidah, Y. Rahmawati, W. Meka, A. Alifatul, D. Hartanto, R. Sari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Indonesia's vast archipelago offers abundant seawater resources, holding the potential for salt production. Salt, a vital commodity in human life, typically contains sodium chloride and impurities like Ca2+, Mg2+, SO42−, and K+. Pharmaceutical salt is an industrial category adhering to pharmacopoeial standards regarding sodium chloride levels and impurity content, ensuring quality for drug preparations in Indonesia. Prior research indicates that recrystallisation, specifically evaporation crystallisation, enhances salt quality by increasing NaCl content. Chemical precipitating agents like NaOH and Na2CO3 can be introduced to improve salt purity further. This study aims to identify optimal conditions for pharmaceutical salt production from processed salt raw materials, considering crystallisation time, stirring speed, chemical additives (NaOH and Na2CO3), and double crystallisation stages. The method commences with pre-treatment, involving salt dissolution in distilled water to saturation, with the addition of precipitating agents as per designated variables. Precipitates formed from precipitating agents (NaOH and Na2CO3) are isolated through filtration. The filtrate undergoes evaporation crystallisation at 103 °C, varying between single and double crystallisation. Salt crystals are separated, dried, and weighed to calculate yield. Pharmaceutical salt is analysed for water content, NaCl, and impurities (Ca2+, Mg2+, SO42−, and K+). The optimal conditions for pharmaceutical salt production were double crystallisation with a 20 % excess of chemicals (NaOH and Na2CO3), 100 min of crystallisation time, and a stirring speed of 600 rpm. This yielded a 15 % NaCl content of 99.87 %, Mg2+ at 0 ppm, Ca2+ at 69.6 ppm, SO42− at 366 ppm, K+ at 370 ppm, and water content at 0.166 %. Notably, the pharmaceutical salt production process generates no waste, as byproducts like Mg(OH)2 and CaCO3 can be recycled and hold commercial value. However, it is essential to re-evaluate raw materials and technologies to address the market's high cost and competitiveness issues.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere30472
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2024


  • Impurities
  • Pharmaceutical salt
  • Precipitating agent
  • Recrystallisation
  • Salt


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