(473d) Automated Continuous Crystallization and Mechanism Assessment of Zeolites

Authors: 
Teixeira, A. R., Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Downstream pharmaceutical crystallization is typically performed in well-controlled batch crystallizers. This process, however, convolutes several complex phenomena: 1) gradients in transport (heat transfer and mass transfer/mixing effects), 2) multiphase mechanics/thermodynamics, including metastable crystal formation, 3) stochastic and competitive nucleation and growth kinetics. These processes are further complicated by dynamic transients in the liquid phase composition with time. Achieving a desired crystalline phase, monodisperse particles, and efficient/rapid crystallizations can then become rather challenging.

Similar analogs are observed with inorganic crystallization. Zeolite synthesis has conventionally progressed through classical batch processing with high pressure, unstirred autoclaves and is notoriously difficult to predict structures/formulations a prior. Furthermore, many fundamental questions remain about the non-classical crystallization mechanism/pathways.

In this presentation, techniques for using continuous flow chemistry to systematically control the transport and transients in the crystallization process will be explored. An automated reactor system used to access crystallization mechanisms will be discussed and applied to zeolite synthesis.