Unusual effect of water vapor pressure on dehydration of dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate

Aditya M. Kaushal, Venu R. Vangala, Raj Suryanarayanan

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22 Scopus citations


Dibasic calcium phosphate occurs as an anhydrate (DCPA; CaHPO4) and as a dihydrate (DCPD; CaHPO4 2H2O). Our objective was to investigate the unusual behavior of these phases. Dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate was dehydrated in a (i) differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) in different pan configurations; (ii) variable-temperature X-ray diffractometer (XRD) at atmospheric and under reduced pressure, and in sealed capillaries; and (iii) water vapor sorption analyzer at varying temperature and humidity conditions. Dehydration was complete by 210°C in an open DSC pan and under atmospheric pressure in the XRD. Unlike "conventional" hydrates, the dehydration of DCPD was facilitated in the presence of water vapor. Variable-temperature XRD in a sealed capillary and DSC in a hermetic pan with pinhole caused complete dehydration by 100°C and 140°C, respectively. Under reduced pressure, conversion to the anhydrate was incomplete even at 300°C. The increase in dehydration rate with increase in water vapor pressure has been explained by the Smith-Topley effect. Under "dry" conditions, a coating of poorly crystalline product is believed to form on the surface of particles and act as a barrier to further dehydration. However, in the presence of water vapor, recrystallization occurs, creating cracks and channels and facilitating continued dehydration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1456-1466
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Dane O. Kildsig Center for Pharmaceutical Processing Research. Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from the National Science Foundation through the Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers program.


  • Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Dehydration
  • Dibasic calcium phosphate
  • Excipients
  • Hydrate
  • Physical stability
  • Thermogravimetric analysis
  • Water vapor
  • X-ray diffractometry


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