Characterization of a Multistage Continuous MSMPR Crystallization Process Assisted by Image Analysis of Elongated Crystals

Gerard Capellades, Parth U. Joshi, Kim Dam-Johansen, Michael J. Mealy, Troels V. Christensen, Søren Kiil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This work demonstrates how quantitative image analysis can assist in the characterization of continuous crystallization processes and in the proper selection of mathematical models for the early assessment of crystal quality. An active pharmaceutical ingredient presenting an elongated crystal habit was crystallized using two stirred tank crystallizers in series. With image analysis of the crystallization magma, the sources of crystal breakage in the crystallization cascade were identified, and the impact on crystal habit was evaluated quantitatively. As it is expected for particles presenting high aspect ratios, crystal breakage preferentially occurs in the smallest plane, perpendicular to the largest dimension. This phenomenon is hardly avoidable in downstream production, but it can be accounted for with a design approach based on the real crystal dimensions. The kinetic rate equations for nucleation and crystal growth were determined based on crystal width, from which a model for the accurate prediction of this dimension was applied. The predicted crystal size distribution is consistent through a moderate degree of crystal breakage during downstream processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6455-6469
Number of pages15
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 7 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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