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Systematic design of supersaturation controlled crystallization processes for shaping the crystal size distribution

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conference contribution
posted on 01.06.2009, 11:21 by Erum Aamir, Zoltan Nagy, Chris Rielly
The paper presents a novel methodology for the systematic design of the setpoint operating curves for supersaturation controlled crystallization processes, which produce a desired target crystal size distribution (CSD). The population balance model is solved using the method of characteristics under the assumptions of constant supersaturation and growth dominated process, yielding a simplified analytical expression for the size distribution. A design parameter for supersaturation controlled processes is introduced as a function of the supersaturation and time. Based on the design parameter and the simplified analytical model, the supersaturation setpoint and batch time are determined using an optimization approach to obtain a target distribution with a desired shape. A methodology is also described, which can be used to obtain the temperature profiles in the time domain, corresponding to a desired target CSD, providing a systematic direct design approach for practical applications and scale-up. Additionally, a method for designing the seed distribution is proposed, which can be used in conjunction with the supersaturation setpoint design, for shaping the product CSD. The proposed methods are exemplified for the model system of potash alum in water, for which the size dependent growth kinetic parameters have been identified based on industrial experimental data.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering


AAMIR, E., NAGY, Z.K. and RIELLY, C.D., 2008. Systematic design of supersaturation controlled crystallization processes for shaping the crystal size distribution. IN: Lorenz, H. and Kaemmerer, H. (eds.). BIWIC 2008 / 15th International Workshop on Industrial Crystallization, September 10-12, 2008, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems Magdeburg, Germany. Aachen : Shaker Publishing, pp. 280-287


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This conference paper was published in BIWIC 2008 [© Shaker Publishing] which is available from:






Loughborough Publications