(186j) Theoretical Analysis and Process Design for Dual-Impinging Jet Cooling Crystallization | AIChE

(186j) Theoretical Analysis and Process Design for Dual-Impinging Jet Cooling Crystallization


Jiang, M. - Presenter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Pirkle, J. C. Jr., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Braatz, R. D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

A key objective
in crystallization process design is to improve process efficiency and control product
characteristics, such as crystal size distribution (CSD) [1][2]. High-throughput static mixers have been demonstrated
to be an effective technology to enhance the control of nucleation, which is
key towards control of the final product CSD. Unlike traditional designs that combine
solution and anti-solvent streams such as in a dual-impinging-jet (DIJ) mixer (e.g.,
[1]–[4]), a more recent design combined hot and cold
saturated solutions of the same solute/solvent to generate small uniform seed
crystals (Fig. 1) [5][6].

Figure 1 (left): A schematic of a cooling DIJ mixer, with hot
(red) and cold (blue) streams impinging towards a cold/hot interface before
diverting radially. (right): Small crystals of L-asparagine monohydrate with a
narrow size distribution generated from a cooling DIJ mixer that combines hot
(70°C) and cold (25°C) saturated solutions [5][6].

if the mixing was perfect (that is, concentration and temperature were
completely mixed at the molecular scale in the mixer), the average
supersaturation level would be too low to nucleate crystals in a cooling DIJ
mixer. A surprising result of nucleating crystals by combining hot and cold
saturated solutions in a DIJ mixer is that an additional enabling mechanism –
differential rates of thermal and molecular diffusion – was in play in the
cooling DIJ mixer. Theoretical analysis of the system showed that nucleation
was enabled by the much faster energy transfer than mass transfer rates near
the interface. This difference in rates enabled the temperature of the hot
solution to drop to approximately the average temperature of the two solutions
before its solution concentration had significantly changed, resulting in a
supersaturation sufficiently high to nucleate crystals (Fig. 2) [6].

Figure 2. Temperature (blue)
and concentration (red) profiles (solid lines) and edges of the boundary layers
(dashed lines), based on the 1D approximation along the jet centerline. The
black line is the impingement plane [6].

theoretical analysis is supported with process simulations. The two-dimensional
energy and solute mass balances are simplified using a one-dimensional
approximation based on scaling analysis. 1D analytical solutions were derived
from the simplified partial differential equations, to generate spatial
distributions of temperature, concentration, and supersaturation near the
hot-cold interface within a cooling DIJ mixer (Fig. 2). In the spatial region
of importance for induction and control of nucleation, the analytical solutions
are shown to be very close to the two-dimensional fields solved using COMSOL.

The 1D analytical
solutions facilitated the derivation of design criteria to facilitate quick
assessment of whether any particular pharmaceutical-solute combination will
nucleate crystals in a cooling DIJ mixer, based on the physicochemical
properties [6]:

(i) Calculate
the Lewis number for the solute/solvent system. A large value of Le = α/D
(thermal diffusivity/mass diffusivity) favors the generation of a region of
high supersaturation.

(ii) Choose
inlet temperatures and concentrations for the two jets so that the average
supersaturation is as high as possible at the set jet velocity (or flow rate)
ratio. Several approximate analytical expressions have been derived that can be
used in place of this qualitative design criterion, which include


where z
is the distance away from impingement plane, T is solution temperature, c
is solution concentration, ccold and chot
are the concentrations of the cold and hot saturated inlet streams
respectively, cmeta is the metastable concentration, and zrefm
is the square root of the molecular diffusion coefficient of the solute
multiplied by a constant specified by the inlet jet conditions. These criteria can
save time and material by avoiding or reducing trial-and-error experiments,
which is helpful at the early stage of pharmaceutical process development. The
effects of key operational parameters (e.g., mixer geometry) on nucleation are
quantified. The mathematical models and methodologies are validated for the aqueous
crystallization of L-asparagine monohydrate (LAM) in various mixer designs [7] beyond DIJ.

This poster
goes beyond the journal papers by describing accurate 2D analytical expressions
for the temperature and concentration fields that are able to describe the
change in the temperature and concentration fields away from the centerline of
the two jets. Only one term in an infinite series solution for the 2D
analytical expressions is able to very accurately describe the 2D spatial
fields over the entire domain of interest. The 2D model includes an explicit
term for the primary nucleation rate within the energy and species conservation
equations, so the effects of nucleation on the temperature and concentration
fields can be directly modeled instead of indirectly modeled through a
metastable concentration. The effect of the nucleation term on the solute molecule depletion and
the supersaturation field can be major, and the faster the nucleation kinetics,
the more the 1D and 2D analytical expressions differ. As the theory used to
derive the 2D analytical expression is more powerful than what is normally used
to derive analytical expressions for partial differential equations and could
be useful in other chemical engineering applications, a sketch of the theory is
provided in the poster, with a separate detailed written proof available for
anyone interested in the detailed derivation.


[1]       M. Jiang, Y.-E. Li, H.-H. Tung, and R. D. Braatz., “Effect of jet velocity
on crystal size distribution from antisolvent and cooling crystallizations in a
dual impinging jet mixer,” Chem. Eng. Process., vol. 97, pp. 242–247,

[2]       B.
K. Johnson and R. K. Prud’homme, “Chemical Processing and Micromixing in
Confined Impinging Jets,” AIChE J., vol. 49, no. 9, pp. 2264–2282, 2003.

[3]       M.
Midler, E. L. Paul, E. F. Whittington, M. Futran, P. D. Liu, J. Hsu, and S. H.
Pan, Crystallization method to improve crystal structure and size. U.S.
Patent 5314506A, 1994.

[4]       X.
Y. Woo, R. B. H. Tan, and R. D. Braatz, “Precise tailoring of the crystal size
distribution by controlled growth and continuous seeding from impinging jet
crystallizers,” CrystEngComm, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 2006–2014, 2011.

[5]       M.
Jiang, M. H. Wong, Z. Zhu, J. Zhang, L. Zhou, K. Wang, A. N. Ford Versypt, T.
Si, L. M. Hasenberg, Y. E. Li, and R. D. Braatz, “Towards achieving a flattop crystal
size distribution by continuous seeding and controlled growth,” Chem. Eng.
, vol. 77, pp. 2–9, 2012.

[6]       M.
Jiang, C. Gu, and R. D. Braatz., “Understanding temperature-induced primary
nucleation in dual impinging jet mixers,” Chem. Eng. Process., vol. 97,
pp. 187–194, 2015.

[7]      M.
Jiang, Z. Zhu, E. Jimenez, C. D. Papageorgiou, J. Waetzig, A. Hardy, M.
Langston, and R. D. Braatz, “Continuous-flow tubular crystallization in slugs
spontaneously induced by hydrodynamics,” Cryst. Growth Des., vol. 14,
no. 2, pp. 851–860, 2014.


This paper has an Extended Abstract file available; you must purchase the conference proceedings to access it.


Do you already own this?



AIChE Members $150.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
Non-Members $225.00