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Continuous plug flow antisolvent crystallization of pharmaceuticals




10: Chemical Engineering

Faculty Supervisor:

Allan S. Myerson

Faculty email:


Apply by:



Alpana Thorat (athorat@mit.edu, +17654766507, E19-534)

Project Description

Crystallization is often used as a purification step and as a means to isolate high-value products with the desired solid-state properties. Consequently, it plays a major role in the production of fine and commodity chemicals, food products, and pharmaceuticals. In pharmaceutical manufacturing, control of properties like purity, particle size and shape are critical for the for the production of crystalline solid which can be formulated into a drug product with the desired properties. In this context, we are investigating the use of plug-flow crystallizers for the control of crystal properties, by means of controlling nucleation and growth through variations in crystallizer length and antisolvent feed points. In this project you’ll be performing continuous antisolvent crystallization experiments with model pharmaceuticals. You will get chance to work with in-line PAT (process analytical technology), also characterization of crystalline material using Powder X-Ray Diffraction (PXRD) and Particle Size Analysis. Do downstream processing such as filtration and separation of crystals from solution. Another analytical tool you would be using is HPLC for analysis of the concentration of pharmaceuticals in solution. This project is extension of our earlier work in this area. Please refer to “Continuous plug flow crystallization of pharmaceutical compounds” (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cg901496s) At the end of this project you will learn laboratory experiment skills, hands-on experience with different separation techniques and PAT. Interest in population balance modeling, nucleation and crystal growth kinetics is plus. Interested candidates, please send your resume and a brief description of why you are interested in this project.


Interest in population balance modeling, nucleation and crystal growth kinetics is plus.