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Methods for Determining Particle Size by Different Methods, Counting and Separation Method

Particle size analysis might appear to be a difficult and complicated subject.
Particle size analysis might appear to be a difficult and complicated subject. The concept of measuring and making conclusions about microscopically small particles is confusing, and the technology used to measure particles is scary. Particle size analyzers are important for these measurements, and technologies like laser diffraction help us learn more about material qualities.

However, in order to grasp some of the higher-level notions in this field, a solid understanding of the concepts that underlie findings is required.

Common Measurement Methods for Particle Size

When various methodologies are applied to measure different dimensions of the particle, different findings are produced. Each measuring method has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Sieves
While this is an ancient approach, it has the benefit of being inexpensive and especially good for measuring big particles. This is especially significant in industries such as mining.

The primary drawbacks of this approach are the inability to measure sprays or emulsions, as well as the difficulty of measuring dry powders as particles grow tiny. Wet sieving can assist solve this problem, but the results are difficult to replicate. Cohesive and agglomerated materials, such as clay, are also difficult to quantify.

Because particles prefer to orient themselves via the sieve, it is necessary to standardize operating procedures and measure durations if reliable and relevant findings are to be achieved.

Sedimentation
In the past, this was a standard procedure employed in the clay and pottery industries.

There are two major drawbacks to this method: it requires the density of the substance, therefore it is ineffective for estimating particle size in emulsions that do not settle or for dense materials that settle fast. Samples with mixed density components cannot be resolved properly. Because measuring microscopic particles is time-consuming, the procedure of repeating tests can be laborious.

Experimenting With Electro Zone
This approach works well for monitoring red blood cells, but it has a number of drawbacks when applied to real-world materials. Emulsions and dry powders are difficult to measure, while sprays are hard to measure. Measurement in an electrolyte is required, and the associated calibration standards are costly.

Diffraction By Laser
This is a popular method that is said to be one of the most accurate and trustworthy. It offers a number of significant benefits:
  • It's incredibly adaptable and can test a wide range of particles (powders, emulsions, suspensions, and sprays)
  • It's a quick process.
  • It employs a scientifically validated absolute particle analysis approach that enables measurements to be conducted without the requirement to calibrate any equipment against a standard.
  • The approach allows for a very broad and dramatic spectrum of effects.
  • It is feasible to compute a sample's total weight.
  • The procedure is quite repeatable.
Separation
In nature, all substances are not found in their purest form. Mixes include the bulk of the components. Various separation procedures can be used to separate beneficial components of mixtures. You must have witnessed your mother washing rice to remove stones or other contaminants before cooking it. In your daily life, you probably employ a variety of separation tactics.

Handpicking
Simply choose black grapes from a mixture of black and green grapes with your hands if you want to separate black grapes from a mixture of black and green grapes. Handpicking is a separation method in which parts of a mixture are separated by picking them out with one's hands.

Handpicking conditions – Impurities of varying sizes and hues should be present in the combination.

Threshing
This form of separation is often used by farmers in agriculture to separate edible from non-edible sections of the grain during harvesting. The grain is separated from the stalks by crushing it on the ground or with a massive stone, for example.

Winnowing
It's an agricultural approach that's been around since the dawn of time. There are several winnowing machines available nowadays. Winnowing is the process of separating grains from straw using an air current. The word "winnow" comes from the ancient English word "windwian," which means "mixed separation by the wind." Winnowing is the process of separating a heavier ingredient from a lighter substance in a mixture by blowing air or employing an air current. Winnowing is used to remove corn from straw.

Sieving
You've probably used or seen someone else utilize this separation approach at home. In most households, moms use this technique to remove stones or other bigger contaminants from Rava, rice, and other foods.

Sieving is a separation method in which we utilize a porous sieve to remove contaminants from a mixture. Only those pollutants that are bigger than the holes in the sieve are removed.

Sedimentation
Sedimentation is a separating process in which heavier pollutants in water settle to the bottom over a period of time if the mixture is kept steady in one location. Sediment refers to the heavier ingredient that settles at the bottom, while supernatant refers to the water above it.

Decantation
After employing the sedimentation process, decantation is a procedure for removing water.

Filtration
Filtration is a distinct operation that removes pollutants from water using filter paper. The filtrate is the water that passes through the filter paper and settles in a conical flask, whereas the residue is the solid contaminant that collects on the filter paper.

Evaporation
It's used to separate mixtures with a liquid solvent and a soluble solid as the solute. As the name indicates, evaporation is the process of converting water into vapor. It is a separate procedure in which a liquid (solvent or organic solvent) evaporates, leaving behind a solid residue. Evaporation, for example, is used to extract salt from saltwater.

Condensation
The process of converting vapors to liquids is known as condensation. Many separation procedures employ this method to capture pure material vapors.

Sublimation
Sublimation is the transformation of a substance from a solid to a liquid condition. It's used to distinguish sublimable and non-sublimable volatile components from mixtures. Sublime compounds include ammonium chloride, camphor, naphthalene, and anthracene.

The sublimation technique of mixture separation can be used to separate ammonium chloride and salt combinations.

Distillation
It's used to separate components of a mixture that includes two miscible liquids that boil without breaking down and have enough boiling point differences to separate them. Liquid combinations are boiled, evaporated, condensed, and separated using this method. When separating an acetone and water mixture, distillation is utilized. Acetone has a boiling point of 56°C, while water has a boiling temperature of 100°C.

Distillation by Fractions
It works on the same concept as distillation but adds a fractionating column to the mix. Fractional distillation can be used to separate a combination of miscible liquids with a boiling point variation of fewer than 25 degrees Celsius.

Funnel Separation
It's used to keep two immiscible liquids like oil and water apart. This method is also used to get rid of iron. According to the notion, immiscible liquids separate into layers based on their densities.

Separation by magnetism
When one component in a mix has magnetic properties while the other does not, it is utilized to separate the two. It is used to isolate metals from their impurities during metal extraction.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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