Solubility, metastable zone width, and racemic characterization of propranolol hydrochloride



Characterization of the racemic species, which can be a racemic compound, a racemic conglomerate, or a pseudoracemate (solid solution), is a prerequisite for the design of crystallization resolution processes. It is useful to determine the solid/liquid equilibrium solubility of the enantiomer mixtures for crystallization operation. For the beta-blocker drug propranolol hydrochloride, Gibbs free energy of formation of racemic compound and entropy of mixing of the (R)- and (S)- enantiomers in the liquid state for racemic conglomerate were calculated. The structural differences between (R, S)-propranolol hydrochloride and its (S)-enantiomer were further investigated by powder X-ray diffraction patterns, infrared spectra, and solid-state NMR spectra. The solubility and metastable zone width of (R, S)- propranolol hydrochloride in a mixed solvent of methanol and acetone were determined by cooling crystallization over the temperature range 3.5–42.5°C. The ternary solubility diagram of (R)-, (S)-propranolol hydrochloride was constructed using the same mixed solvent. The diagram will be useful as a guide for choosing crystallization operation conditions to produce pure enantiomers. Chirality 14:318–324, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.