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Crystallization and Precipitation

Crystallization Guide
Guide to Effective Process Development
Author: Des OGrady PhD, METTLER TOLEDO

Crystallization is recognized as a common unit operation used to isolate and purify product
in a number of industries. However, the scientific fundamentals of crystallization are
typically not as well-known as they are for other unit operations such as distillation or
absorption. The crystallization step directly influences product attributes such as crystal
size, shape, yield and purity which offers great potential to improve both the quality of the
final product and the efficiency of the process.

In the first part of this two-part white paper series the fundamentals of crystallization will be
introduced and common-sense guidelines for the design of a high quality crystallization
process will be presented. Using case studies and references from industry and academia, key
crystallization topics such as solubility, supersaturation and crystallization kinetics will be
explained with examples of how each can be utilized to make informed decisions regarding
effective crystallization process development. The role of technology in crystallization devel-
opment, from effectively controlling crystallization process parameters to monitoring crystal size
and supersaturation in situ, will also be presented.

Contents
1 Introduction to Crystallization and Precipitation
2 Common Ways to Reduce Solubility and
Drive Crystallization
3 Supersaturation: The Driving Force for Crystallization
and Nucleation Growth
4 The Importance of Crystal Size and Shape Distribution
5 Conclusion
1 Introduction to Crystallization and Precipitation
Crystallization Guide

Crystallization touches every aspect of our lives from the foods we eat and the medicines we
take, to the fuels we use to power our communities. The majority of agrochemical and
pharmaceutical products go through many crystallization steps during their development and
manufacture, key food ingredients such as lactose and lysine are delivered to humans and
animals as crystals and the unwanted crystallization of gas hydrates in deep sea pipelines is
a major safety concern for the petrochemical industry.

Scientists and engineers working in many industries around the world are required to under-
stand, optimize and control crystallization processes every day. The purpose of this guide is
to introduce key crystallization concepts and highlight the many resources available for those
working in this exciting field.

Crystallization: A process whereby solid crystals are formed from another phase,
typically a liquid solution or melt

Crystal: Solid particles in which the constituent molecules, atoms or ions are arranged in
some fixed and rigid repeating three-dimensional pattern or lattice

Precipitation: It is a little bit difficult to define the term precipitation. For some, it is simply
a very fast, perhaps uncontrolled, crystallization process. For others it is crystal formation
resulting from a chemical reaction. It can also vary by industry; in the pharmaceutical
industry crystallization is common and in the chemical industry precipitation is the
vernacular.

The prevalence of crystallization processes in industry


can likely be attributed to the fact that crystallization Product Performance1
acts as both a separation and purification step. In a Crystallization of an API [ac-
tive pharmaceutical ingredient
single step, crystal product of the desired purity can
the crystal product] in par-
be created and then isolated. Despite this obvious ticular is critical for product
advantage, crystallization processes still need to qualities such as chemical
be understood and controlled to the desired crystal purity and correct polymor-
product quality and to ensure an efficient and cost- phic form, which need to be
effective crystallization process. strictly controlled to meet set
specifications.

While crystals have many important attributes the


crystal size distribution probably has the greatest
Process Performance1
impact on the quality and effectiveness of the final The API crystallization
product (and the process needed to deliver it). process and crystal proper-
Crystal size and shape directly influence key steps ties have a significant effect
downstream from the crystallizer with filtration and on downstream processing.
drying performance being particularly susceptible to For example, excess fines or
wide particle size distribu-
changes in these important attributes. Similarly the
tion may cause slow filtration
final crystal size can also directly influence the quality and inefficient drying, which
of the final product. In a pharmaceutical compound, may be a major bottleneck
bioavailability and efficacy are often related to particle of the entire manufacturing
size with smaller particles often desired for their process.
enhanced solubility and dissolution characteristics.

2 Crystallization and Precipitation


The crystal size distribution of ice plays a vital role in the taste and mouthfeel of ice cream
with crystals smaller than 50 m better than crystals larger than 100 m. For agrochemicals
it is vital to ensure that particles are small enough to be sprayed without blocking nozzles
while large enough not to drift into neighboring fields.

Crystal size distribution is influenced by a number of variables which can be optimized


and controlled during crystallization development and manufacturing. In turn, crystal size
distribution influences both product and process performance. Figure 1-1 highlights how
choosing the correct input properties and process parameters for a crystallization can
influence the transformations that occur and the product and process attributes that result
once the crystallizaton is complete.

Input Properties Process Parameters


Concentration Agitation
Solvent Type Cooling Rate
Seeded vs. Unseeded Hold Time
Scale Seeding Protocol
Temperature Anti-solvent Addition
Impurity Profile Temperature Cycle

Transformation
Nucleation (Primary/Secondary)
Growth
Phase Separation
Form Convertion/Habit Shift
Attrition
Agglomeration

Product Performance Process Performance


Particle Size Filterability
Purity Drying
Yield Formulability
Dissolution Rate Scale-ability
Flowability
Robustness
Repeatability

Figure 1-1. Relationship between common crystallization parameters, transformations


and attributes2

1. Kim S. et al., Control of the Particle Properties of a Drug Substance by Crystallization Engineering and the Effect
on Drug Product Formulation Organic Process Research & Development, 9, 894-901 (2005).
2. Adapted from Powder Technology Volume 189, Issue 2, 31 January 2009, Pages 313317.

Crystallization and Precipitation 3


2 Common Ways to Reduce Solubility and
Crystallization Guide
Drive Crystallization

Crystallization is generally achieved by reducing the solubility of the product in a saturated


starting solution by cooling, adding antisolvent, evaporation or some combination of these
methods. Another common method used to induce crystallization is via a chemical reaction
where two or more reactants are mixed to form a solid product insoluble in the reaction
mixture; a common example of this would be the reaction of an acid and a base to form
a salt.

The method chosen to crystallize product can vary greatly depending on a number of
factors. For example, protein crystals are temperature-sensitive ruling out cooling and
evaporation and leaving antisolvent addition as the most common crystallization method.
For many crystallization processes, cooling can be advantageous as it is reversible; the
saturated solution can be reheated in the event of a non-optimal operation. Many large scale
industrial crystallization processes rely on evaporation to produce common products such as
potassium nitrate and ammonium chloride.

Regardless of the method chosen a common feature is starting with a saturated solution.

Saturated Solution and Solubility: At a given temperature there is a maximum quantity


of solute that can be dissolved in a given solvent. At this point, the solution is saturated.
The quantity of solute dissolved at this point is the solubility.

Units: Solubility is usually reported as:


- g of solute/100 g of solvent
- g of solute/L of solution
- mole fraction
- mole %

Solubility curves (Figure 2-1) are 80

commonly used to illustrate the 70


relationship between solubility, Solvent A
Good Solvent
Solubility (g Solute / 100 g Solvent)

Solvent B
temperature and solvent type. By 60 Solvent C

plotting temperature vs. solubility, 50


scientists create the framework
needed to develop the desired 40

crystallization process. 30

In Figure 2-1, the solubility of 20


Good Antisolvent
the given material in Solvent A is 10
high meaning more material
can be crystallized per unit mass 0
0 20 40 60 80
of solvent. Solvent C has a low Temperature (C)
solubility at all temperatures, Figure 2-1. Solubility of model compound in three solvents
indicating it could be a useful
antisolvent for this material.

4 Crystallization and Precipitation


Solubility curves also reveal the theoretical yield for a given crystallization process. In Figure
2-1 if a saturated solution containing 50 g of product per 100 g of Solvent A is cooled
from 60 C to 10 C then it is clear that 10 g of product per 100 g of solvent will remain
in solution. In other words exactly 40 g of product per 100 g of solvent should crystallize.
This allows scientists to compare the theoretical yield with the actual yield and define the
efficiency of the crystallization process.

Once an appropriate solvent is chosen, the solubility curve becomes a critical tool for
the development of an effective crystallization process. With this information the starting
concentration and temperature (or antisolvent ratio) can be chosen and the first important
decisions regarding how the crystallization will be developed can be made. For example if
seeds are to be used to induce crystal nucleation it is critical to add them at a temperature
lower than the solubility point otherwise they will dissolve.

Example Case Study3

ParticleTrack (a probe based instru- Point of Nucleation Point of Dissolution


ment that tracks rate and degree of
change to particle size and count
as they exist in process) can be 12000 55

used to measure the solubility


curve and MSZW (Metastable Zone 10000

Width) by identifying the point of 45

dissolution (point on the solubil- 8000


Counts per Second

Temperature (C)
ity curve) and point of nucleation
(point on the MSZW) at various 6000 35

solute concentrations. In Figure


2-2, an undersaturated solution is 4000
Temperature (C)
cooled at a slow, fixed rate until Particle Count (0-20 m)
25

the point of nucleation is measured 2000 Particle Count (50-250 m)

by ParticleTrack, indicating a point


on the MSZW. Next, the solution is 0 15
0 20 40 60 80 100
heated slowly until the point of dis-
Time (mins)
solution is measured indicating a
point on the solubility curve. Figure 2-2. Points of nucleation and dissolution during cooling and heating

Solvent is then added to the system


to reduce the concentration and the
process is repeated. In this way, the
solubility curve and MSZW can be
measured rapidly over a wide range
of temperatures. This process can
be automated using a synthesis
workstation, such as EasyMax or
OptiMax by introducing a feed-
back loop where the ParticleTrack
signal can be used to initiate the
Figure 2-3. Automated crystallization workstation with tight control over process
heating, cooling and dilution steps. parameters and probe based tools for real time unattended characterization (ParticleTrack
and ParticleView probes monitoring in an EasyMax synthesis workstation)

Crystallization and Precipitation 5


In Figure 2-4, the solubility curve
Crystallization Guide
40
and metastable zone width(s) for Solubility Data

potassium aluminum sulphate is MSZW (C.15 C per min)


MSZW (C.7 C per min)

shown. While the solubility curve


is thermodynamically fixed for a 30
given solvent-solute system the

Concentration (g hydrate/ 100 g water)


MSZW is a kinetic boundary and
can change depending on process 20
parameters such as cooling rate,
agitation or scale. Characterizing
the MSZW under a range of process
10
conditions can help scientists
understand how a crystallization
process may behave at different
0
scales - or in the event of a process 0 10 20 30 40 50 60
upset. Variability in the MSZW under Temperature (C)
different conditions may indicate Figure 2-4. Solubility curve and MSZW for potassium aluminum sulphate.
that the system may not behave
consistently in terms of nucleation point and kinetics. Such a result may justify investigating the possibility of
seeding the process in order to fix the nucleation point for every experiment or batch.

Dynamic approaches to solubility determination, such as this one, are sometimes limited in their accuracy
since a fast heating rate means the exact point of dissolution can be overestimated. Static methods, such as
gravimetric analysis may offer more accuracy but are more time-consuming and cumbersome to implement.
Many techniques can be used to measure solubility curves1-4 and recent research aimed at predicting solubility in
different solvents is showing promise5. The references below offer a good starting point for more in depth study.

1. Howard K. Zimmerman, The Experimental Determination of Solubilities, Jr. Chem. Rev., 1952, 51 (1), pp 2565
2. Granberg & Rasmusson, Solubility of Paracetamol in Pure Solvents, J. Chem. Eng. Data, 1999, 44 (6), pp
1391139.
3. Barrett and Glennon, Characterizing the Metastable Zone Sidth and Solubility Curve Using Lasentec FBRM and
PVM, Trans ICHemE, vol. 80, 2002, pp. 799-805.
4. Mark Barrett, Mairtin McNamara, HongXun Hao, Paul Barrett, Brian Glennon, Supersaturation tracking for the
development, optimization and control of crystallization processes, Chemical Engineering Research and Design,
Volume 88, Issue 8, August 2010, Pages 1108-1119.
5. Abraham, M. H., Smith, R. E., Luchtefeld, R., Boorem, A. J., Luo, R. and Acree, W. E. (2010), Prediction of solubility
of drugs and other compounds in organic solvents. J. Pharm. Sci., 99: 15001515.

6 Crystallization and Precipitation


3 Supersaturation: The Driving Force for Crystal
Nucleation and Growth

Crystallization scientists gain control of crystallization processes by carefully controlling the


prevailing level of supersaturation during the process.

Supersaturation: The difference between the actual concentration and the solubility
concentration at a given temperature is defined as the supersaturation (C)

Figure 3-1 illustrates the concept


of supersaturation and expands
on the role of the metastable
zone width, the kinetic boundary
at which crystallization occurs. Nucleation Cooling

Concentration
When a saturated solution is
gradually cooled crystals will Metastable Limit C (Supersaturation)
crash out at a given temperature.
It seems intuitive to think that this
temperature may be the same as Solubility

the solubility temperature the


temperature at which the last Temperature
crystal dissolved during heating. Figure 3-1. Solubility curce and MSZW (Metastable Zone Width)
However, when a saturated solution
is cooled the system enters a metastable region where the solution becomes supersaturated,
in other words, more of the solute is in solution that the solubility curve predicts. As cooling
continues, a certain temperature will be reached where crystal nucleation will occur. This
point is called the metastable limit and the difference in temperature between this point and
the solubility curve is called the metastable zone width. Once the metastable limit is reached
and crystallization starts supersaturation is consumed and eventually the liquid phase
concentration will reach equilibrium at the solubility curve.

g b
It is critical to understand the
g G = k C B = k C b
concept of supersaturation because
it is the driving force for crystal G = Growth Rate B = Nucleation Rate
nucleation and growth, and as
kg = Growth Constant kb = Nucleation Constant
such, will ultimately dictate the final
g = Growth Order b = Nucleation Order
crystal size distribution. Nucleation
is the birth of new crystal nuclei C = Supersaturation C = Supersaturation
either spontaneously from Table 3-1. Equations that define relationship between supersaturation, nucleation
solution (primary nucleation) and growth rate. 1

or in the presence of existing


crystals (secondary nucleation). Crystal growth is the increase in size (or more accurately
characteristic length) of crystals as solute is deposited from solution. The relationship
between supersaturation, nucleation and growth is defined by a well known set of (somewhat
simplified) equations (Table 3-1).

Crystallization and Precipitation 7


For organic crystallization systems, the value of the
Crystallization Guide
Crystal Size
growth order (g) is typically between 1 and 2 and the

Nucleation Rate, Growth Rate, Crystal Size


value of the nucleation order (b) is typically between 5
and 10. When we plot these equations for a theoretical
organic crystallization process the importance of
supersaturation becomes clear. At low supersaturation,
crystals can grow faster than they nucleate resulting
Nucleation Rate
in a larger crystal size distribution. However, at higher Growth Rate
supersaturation, crystal nucleation dominates crystal
growth, ultimately resulting in smaller crystals. Figure
3-2, relating supersaturation to nucleation, growth
and crystal size clearly illustrates how controlling Supersaturation
supersaturation is vitally important when it comes to Figure 3-2. Plot showing the relationship between supersaturation,
creating crystals of the desired size and distribution. growth and nucleation rate

Example Case Study5


Peak Height Associated
with Benzoic Acid
Supersaturation can be monitored in 0.05
Sample in 0.075 g Benz / g Sol.
situ and in real time by measuring Background and Sample 0.04
1 g Water / g Ethanol Solution
the liquid phase concentration with
ReactIR (ATR-FTIR). In this example, 0.03

Peak Height
researchers looked at the cooling 0.02
crystallization of benzoic acid from
ethanol water mixtures and utilized 0.01

RectIR to monitor supresaturation 0


in situ and in real time. A novel 2650 2150 1650 1150 650
approach is to eliminate the need Wavenumber (cm-1) -0.01

for a calibration step and simply


monitor a peak in the ReactIR Figure 3-3. Supersaturation study utilizing in situ ReactIR monitoring.

spectrum that is characteristic of the


solute cocentration (Figure 3-3). By
heating a crystal suspension slowly Point of Dissolution
a solubility trace (peak height as 15000
a function of temperature) can be

Counts per Second (ParticleTrack)


created. As temperature increases, 0.42 12500

crystals dissolve and solute goes


Peak Height (ReactIR)

ReactIR Solubility Curve


10000
into solution. If the heating rate FBRM Fines #/sec
0.38
chosen is slow enough it can 7500

be assumed that the system is


5000
effectively at the solubility point at 0.34
each temperature, and that a plot of 2500

temperature vs. peak height is an


0.30 0
effective way to trace the solubility 0 10 20 30 40 50 60
curve without calibration(Figure Temperature (C)

3-4). While this approach may not Figure 3-4. Plots Peak Height, Temperature and Counts to determine the point of
be as accurate as using a static dissolution.
method (outlined in section 2)
the simplicity and real time nature of this method make it a valuable approach that can be
deployed routinely during crystallization development.

8 Crystallization and Precipitation


Once a solubility trace is determined, crystallization processes can be run under varying
process conditions and the effect of these conditions on supersaturation can be observed.
Faster cooling rates result in nucleation at lower temperatures and the highest level of
supersaturation throughout the process. A very slow cool down results in a higher nucleation
temperature and low supersaturation throughout the process. A one-hour cubic cool down
(slow at first and fast at the end) has a medium level of supersaturation throughout.

The influence of varying supersaturation on crystal size and shape distribution can be clearly
observed by comparing ParticleView (a probe based real-time microscope) images for each
experiment. Higher supersaturation results in the smallest crystals since nucleation will be
favored over growth. The opposite is true for the slowest cool down.

100 m 100 m 100 m

1 Hr Cool Down 1 Hr Cubic Cool Down 15 Hr Cool Down

Point of Nucleation Solubility Curve


1 Hr Cool Down
0.39 1 Hr Cubic Cool Down
15 Hr Cool Down

0.38
Peak Height

0.37

0.36

0.35

0.34
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
Temperature (C)

Figure 3-5. Temperature vs. peak height for three experiments with different cooling profiles

The fundamentals of crystallization and the relationship between supersaturation and


crystallization kinetics are covered in great detail in these references.

1. Jaroslav Nvlt, Kinetics of nucleation in solutions, Journal of Crystal Growth, Volumes 34, 1968, Pages
377-383.
2. John Garside, Industrial crystallization from solution, Chemical Engineering Science, Volume 40, Issue 1, 1985,
Pages 3-26.
3. D. OGrady, M. Barrett, E. Casey, B. Glennon, The Effect of Mixing on the Metastable Zone Width and Nucleation
Kinetics in the Anti-Solvent Crystallization of Benzoic Acid, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Volume
85, Issue 7, 2007, Pages 945-952.
4. Noriaki Kubota, Masaaki Yokota, J.W. Mullin, Supersaturation dependence of crystal growth in solutions in the
presence of impurity, Journal of Crystal Growth, Volume 182, Issues 12, 1 December 1997, Pages 86-94.
5. Mark Barrett, Mairtin McNamara, HongXun Hao, Paul Barrett, Brian Glennon, Supersaturation tracking for the
development, optimization and control of crystallization processes, Chemical Engineering Research and Design,
Volume 88, Issue 8, August 2010, Pages 1108-1119.

Crystallization and Precipitation 9


4 The Importance of Crystal Size and
Crystallization Guide
Shape Distribution

This set of ParticleView images (Figure 4-1) neatly illustrates a.


the complex size, shape and structure of various crystals. From
large round boulders to beautifully delicate dendrites, crystal
product is often varied, posing challenges to effective separa-
tion and downstream manipulation.

Filtration or centrifugation is typically the step that comes after


crystallization and the crystal size and shape can greatly affect
the efficiency of this unit operation. It is not much use to design
150 m
a crystallization that is complete in one hour if it ends up tak-
ing 24 hours to filter! Looking at the ParticleView images some
clues as to how these different crystal products will filter can be b.
gathered:

a. These crystals will likely filter quickly and consistently. The


larger boulders will leave plenty of space for the filtrate to
pass through rapidly.
b. Flat plates like these can be some of the most difficult to
filter. Plates tend to stack on top of each other creating a
layer of crystals that the filtrate cannot get through. This
leads to long and potentially variable filtration times, 150 m
depending on how the crystals are discharged from the
crystallizer.
c.
c. This is another case where filtration times can be long.
Small crystals will plug the gaps left by the larger crystals
making it difficult for the filtrate to pass through the bed
of crystals. This is a common problem because many
crystallization processes are designed with a fast cool, or
antisolvent addition step at the end of the crystallization (to
increase yield) that leads to excessive secondary nucleation.
Additionally, in many cases the agitation is increased at the
end of the batch to help with discharge and this leads to 150 m
crystal breakage.
d. This image is more common than many would expect, at
least in organic crystallization systems that are seeded. A
d.
structure such as this would be difficult to observe using
an offline microscope as it will be crushed during sampling
and preparation. However, ParticleView reveals a beautiful
dendritic structure. A dendrite such as this often forms when
a crystallization is seeded with milled seed. Imperfections on
the crystal surface lead to crystal growth from these areas
and long crystal branches growing from a seed core. It is
difficult to predict how something like this will filter but it is 150 m
likely to break apart resulting in variable filtration times.
Figure 4-1: ParticleView real-time microscope images

10 Crystallization and Precipitation


Filtration is just one aspect of crystallization where particle size is important. For many
products, the crystal size impacts the effectiveness of the product; for example the rate
of absorption of a pharmaceutical drug in the body or the burn rate of a highly energetic
material. Other aspects of the process can also be influenced by particle size and shape for
example flowability. Table 4-1 highlights some other areas where crystal size plays a key role
in various applications.

Application Product Quality Process Quality


Active Pharmaceultical Speed of action (small crystals disolve faster Drying rates (large crystals have a lower surface
Ingredients allowing medicines to work faster) area to volume ratio and may dry more slowly)
Energetic Materials Burn rate (small crystals burn faster and with Safe handling (small crystals can be volatile and
higher engery) unsafe)
Agrochemicals Segregation (large crystals sink to the bottom Yield (small crystals can bind or block filters
of formulation tanks and are not sprayed resulting in multiple washes and the reduction in
evenly) yield)
Sugar Flowability (uniform crystal size makes for Poor contol (small crystals, resulting from exces-
better product flowability) sive nucleation, can destabilize a process)
Amino Acids Bioavailability (small crystals dissolve faster) Throughput (wide crystal size distributions can
be difficult to stir and transport through a process
Bulk Chemicals Price (crystals of different size can be sold at Centrifugation (small crystals can reduce centri-
different prices for different purposes) fuge performance and cause breakdowns)
Table 4-1. Crystal size vs product and process quality for various applications

Example Case Study


12500 Increased Fines Generation 70
(Secondary Nucleation)
Counts (Fines, 0-20 m)

10000

Temperature (C)
The process conditions chosen 60
Temperature (C)
can greatly influence crystal size, 7500
Fines (#/sec, 0-20 m)

either by affecting supersaturation


5000
and kinetics (Chapter 3) or by more 50
Increased Cooling Rate
physical mechanisms such as 2500
crystal breakage or agglomeration,
0 40
which are both influenced by 04:00 08:00 12:00 16:00 20:00 24:00
mixing conditions in the crystallizer. Relative Time (hr:min)
Figure 4-2. ParticleTrack data: time vs. temperature and counts (0-20m) showing faster
Figures 4-2 and 4-3 show how cooling causes secondary nucleation

increasing the cooling rate at the


600
end of a crystallization experiment Cooling Ramp 1
Cooling Ramp 2
100 m

results in a secondary nucleation 500


event and a more rapid increase in
Counts per Second

400
fine crystal counts (less than
More nes, 100 m
20 m). An increase in cooling rate 300
smaller crystal size
generates more supersaturation -
200
which is consumed by nucleation
rather than growth. Careful control 100
of cooling rates at every point in a
0
crystallization is vital to ensure the 1 10 100 1000
target crystal size distribution is Chord Length (m)
obtained. Figure 4-3. ParticleTrack data with confirmation from ParticleView images show how more
small crystals appear after the second cooling ramp

Crystallization and Precipitation 11


In Figure 4-4, the influence of a high shear wet mill is shown on crystal size and shape.
Crystallization Guide
Initially rod-like crystals are present but as wet-milling progresses the crystals size decreases
and the crystal count increases. ParticleTrack and ParticleView monitor this progression and
can support targeting an endpoint that delivers crystals of the most appropriate size and
shape in a repeatable way.

a. Begin Milling Endpoint Not Yet Reached

90
13000

80

Mean Chord Length (m)


12000
Counts per Second

11000 70
Particle Count (Fines)
Mean Dimension

10000
60

9000
50
00:00 05:00 10:00 15:00 20:00 25:00 30:00
Relative Time (hr:min)

b.
100 m 100 m

Figure 4-4: a. Time vs. Counts and mean chord length for a wet-milling process; b. ParticleView images taken at
7 mins (left) and 30 mins (right) for the same process.

12 Crystallization and Precipitation


5 Conclusion

In the preceding chapters some of the fundamental aspects of crystallization development


have been covered - with special attention paid to manipulating crystal size and shape
distribution. Sound understanding of the fundamentals is vital to ensure an effective
crystallization process can be developed and scaled up to manufacturing, however a
number of topics have not been addressed. In a follow up white paper, a number of other
crystallization challenges and solutions will be addressed including seeding, scale-up and
how to choose the correct process parameters to ensure target process and product attributes
are obtained.

White Paper: Best Practice for Inline Particle


Size Characterization

This white paper outlines how scientists and engineers can improve
process understanding, product quality and process performance by
applying inline particle size and count measurements. By implementing
inline technologies, measurement errors and variability caused by offline
sampling and sample preparation methods are eliminated.

Download the Free White Paper


www.mt.com/wp-E25

White Paper: Understand Crystallization with


In Situ Microscopy

This white paper demonstrates that real-time microscopy offers a faster


alternative to traditional offline visualization methods and discusses how
GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Sintef, and University College Dublin (UCD) use
real-time microscopy to gain a unique perspective of their crystallization
processes.

Download the Free White Paper


www.mt.com/wp-PVM

Crystallization and Precipitation 13


Appendix A: ParticleTrack with FBRM
Crystallization Guide
(Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement)

Measurement for optimization in real time ParticleTrack is a precise and sensitive


technology which tracks changes to particle dimension, particle shape, and particle count.
Over a wide detection range from 0.5 to 2000 m, measurements are acquired in real time
while particles are forming and can still be modified enabling process optimization and
control. No sampling or sample preparation is required even in highly concentrated (70 %
and higher) and opaque suspensions.

www.mt.com/ParticleTrack

Figure c. Chord Length


Distributions
Laser Source

Laser Return

Optics Module
1 2 3 4

Figure b.

Figure a. Figure d. Trended


Statistics
Sapphire Window

How does ParticleTrack work?


The ParticleTrack probe is immersed into a another edge. Thousands of individual chord
dilute or concentrated flowing slurry, droplet lengths are typically measured each second
emulsion, or fluidized particle system. A to produce the Chord Length Distribution
laser is focused to a fine spot at the sapphire (CLD) (Figure c). The CLD is a fingerprint of
window interface (Figure a). A magnified the particle system, and provides statistics
view shows individual particle structures will to detect and monitor changes in particle
backscatter the laser light back to the probe dimension and count in real time (Figure d).
(Figure b). These pulses of backscattered
light are detected by the probe and translated Unlike other particle analysis techniques,
into Chord Lengths based on the calculation ParticleTrack measurement makes no
of the scan speed (velocity) multiplied by the assumption of particle shape. This allows
pulse width (time). A chord length is simply the fundamental measurement to be used
defined as the straight line distance from to directly track changes in the particle
one edge of a particle or particle structure to dimension, shape, and count.

14 Crystallization and Precipitation


Appendix B: ParticleView with PVM
(Particle and Vision Microscope)

ParticleView V19 with PVM technology is a probe-based instrument that visualizes


particles and particle mechanisms in real time. High resolution images are continuously
captured under a wide range of process conditions without the need for sampling or manual
offline analysis. A process trend, sensitive to changes in particle size and concentration,
is automatically combined with the most relevant images providing scientists with a
straightforward and reliable method to ensure comprehensive process understanding is
acquired with every experiment.

www.mt.com/ParticleView

Light Source

Camera

PVM Optics
Particle System

Sapphire Window

How does ParticleView work?


ParticleView uses a high
resolution camera and internal
illumination source to obtain
high quality images even
in dark and concentrated 200 m

suspensions or emulsions. With


no calibration needed and easy
data interpretation, ParticleView
quickly provides critical knowledge
of crystal, particle, and droplet
behavior.

Left: ParticleView inline image;


Right: Offline microscope

Crystallization and Precipitation 15


References and Further Reading
1. Kim S. et al., Control of the Particle Properties of a Drug Substance by Crystallization
Engineering and the Effect on Drug Product Formulation Organic Process Research &
Development, 9, 894-901 (2005).
2. Howard K. Zimmerman, The Experimental Determination of Solubilities, Jr. Chem. Rev.,
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