Computer aided design of solvent blends for hybrid cooling and antisolvent crystallization of active pharmaceutical ingredients

Oliver L. Watson, Suela Jonuzaj, John McGinty, Jan Sefcik, Amparo Galindo, George Jackson, Claire S. Adjiman

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Choosing a solvent and an antisolvent for a new crystallization process is challenging due to the sheer number of possible solvent mixtures and the impact of solvent composition and crystallization temperature on process performance. To facilitate this choice, we present a general computer aided mixture/blend design (CAMbD) formulation for the design of optimal solvent mixtures for the crystallization of pharmaceutical products. The proposed methodology enables the simultaneous identification of the optimal process temperature, solvent, antisolvent, and composition of solvent mixture. The SAFT-γ Mie group-contribution approach is used in the design of crystallization solvents; based on an equilibrium model, both the crystal yield and solvent consumption are considered. The design formulation is implemented in gPROMS and applied to the crystallization of lovastatin and ibuprofen, where a hybrid approach combining cooling and antisolvent crystallization is compared to each method alone. For lovastatin, the use of a hybrid approach leads to an increase in crystal yield compared to antisolvent crystallization or cooling crystallization. Furthermore, it is seen that using less volatile but powerful crystallization solvents at lower temperatures can lead to better performance. When considering ibuprofen, the hybrid and antisolvent crystallization techniques provide a similar performance, but the use of solvent mixtures throughout the crystallization is critical in maximizing crystal yields and minimizing solvent consumption. We show that our more general approach to rational design of solvent blends brings significant benefits for the design of crystallization processes in pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1142
Number of pages20
JournalOrganic Process Research and Development
Issue number5
Early online date6 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2021


  • organic chemistry
  • physical and theoretical chemistry
  • crystals
  • crystallization
  • mixtures
  • optimization
  • solvents


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