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Keywords:

  • crystallization (precipitation);
  • computational fluid dynamics;
  • supercritical processes;
  • turbulence

Abstract

Supercritical fluids have been extensively used for particle production of many natural and pharmaceutical substances providing useful alternatives for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical particulate system formulation. Among the different methods, the gas or supercritical antisolvent (GAS or SAS) process and its variants, have received a considerable interest due to the wide range of materials that can be micronized. Controlling particle formation in order to nucleate small particles is a key issue in GAS and SAS processes and this is directly related to mixing at all scales. In this work, we focus on numerical simulation of the process, emphasizing mixing modeling. Different mixing devices characterized by different nozzles are analyzed, to get an insight into mixing dynamics and its influence on the final particle size distribution. Results show that mixing is determinant in obtaining small particles, and that mixing at the microscale is a significant parameter to account for in the proper design of precipitators. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2012