Solubility and phase transitions in batch and laminar-flow tubular crystallizers

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Mendez del Rio, Jose R.
Rousseau, Ronald W.
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The research addressed in this thesis focuses on monitoring and characterization of pharmaceutical compounds by laser backscattering. In particular, this study covers two topics: (1) the determination of naproxen sodium solubility in water, and its phase transition; and (2) comparisons of batch and laminar flow tubular crystallizers for the production of paracetamol (acetaminophen) and D-mannitol. Using a Lasentec™ Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement (FBRM) device, the solubility of naproxen sodium in aqueous solutions was determined over a temperature range from 15.2 to 39.7 ℃ With the determination of the solubilities of two pseudopolymorphs, anhydrous and dihydrated naproxen sodium, the phase transition point between these two forms of the pharmaceutical compound was determined to occur at 30.3 ℃ Enthalpy of solution and metastable zone widths were also determined for the experimental conditions. Crystallizations of paracetamol and D-mannitol were performed in a batch crystallizer and in a laminar flow tubular crystallizer (LFTC) system. In the latter system, supersaturation was generated rapidly in the solution being transported through a temperature-controlled tube and recovered in a batch vessel where product crystals were grown to equilibration. Because of the rapid rate at which supersaturation was generated in the LFTC, the resulting crystals were of smaller mean size than those obtained from batch crystallizations. The total time required for crystallization was significantly less with the LFTC than with the batch unit. Additionally, the rapid cooling in the LFTC led to the formation of two different polymorphs of paracetamol, Forms I and II.
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