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Agglomeration and adhesion free energy of paracetamol crystals in organic solvents

Authors

  • Eva M. Ålander,

    1. Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden, 11267
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  • Åke C. Rasmuson

    Corresponding author
    1. Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden, 11267
    • Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden, 11267
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Abstract

The agglomeration of paracetamol during crystallization in different pure solvents has been investigated. Narrowly sieved crystals were suspended as seeds and allowed to grow and agglomerate at constant supersaturation and temperature. Particles from each experiment were examined by image analysis and multivariate data evaluation, for the number of crystals per particle. From the resulting number distribution, parameters defining the “degree of agglomeration” were extracted. The degree of agglomeration among the product particles is fairly low in water, methanol, and ethanol, while it is substantial in acetone particularly, but also in acetonitrile and methyl ethyl ketone. Surfaces of large, well-grown paracetamol crystals have been characterized by contact angle measurements. The surface free energy components of different crystal faces have been estimated using Lifshitz–van der Waals acid–base theory. The data are used for estimation of the solid–liquid interfacial free energy of each face in the solvents of the agglomeration experiments and the corresponding crystal–crystal adhesion free energy of pairs of faces. The degree of agglomeration in different solvents does correlate to the free energies of adhesion. This supports the hypothesis that the influence of the solvent on the crystal agglomeration relates to physico-chemical adhesion forces between crystal faces in the solution. © 2007 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 53, 2007

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