January 17, 2023 CE – Crystallization Process Design

Continuing Education – Evening Lecture
Crystallization Process Design: Current Theory & Practice for Small Organic Molecules

Presenter: Gerard Capellades, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering, Rowan University

Tuesday, January 17, 2023
5:30pm-6:30pm – Presentation (Eastern time)
6:30pm-6:45pm – Q&A Session & Closing Remarks

PDH Credit: 1 credit

Location: This will be an online presentation only.

$10 each for attendees

Industrial crystallization is heavily used as a purification step and as a means to isolate valuable products with the desired solid-state properties. Consequently, it plays a major role in the production of fine and commodity chemicals, food products, and pharmaceuticals. While this is a very old unit operation, the lack of fundamental understanding on the mechanisms for crystallization in non-ideal systems, paired with the inherent complexities at the interplay between kinetics, composition, and mixing, have brought practitioners to rely on largely empirical process design methods. These often lead to sub-optimal designs and scale-up challenges, especially when impurities or polymorphism are involved. In this context, novel technologies for in situ process analysis, in combination with an increasing interest for improved quality assurance in the pharmaceutical industry, have led to a significant increase in fundamental and applied crystallization research in recent years. 

This talk will be framed as an introduction to state-of-the-art methods for crystallization process design, geared towards industrial practitioners with varying levels of familiarity. It will cover a general overview of the theory behind nucleation and crystal growth, with focus on how it can be leveraged for the design of industrial crystallization processes. State-of the-art strategies for process development will be discussed, classified according to the intended primary goal of the process: purification, or control of solid-state attributes. Finally, recent developments on the design of continuous crystallization systems, novel process analytical technologies, and current modeling frameworks will be discussed in the context of process design and implementation.

Gerard Capellades is an Assistant Professor at Rowan University’s Department of Chemical Engineering. He has worked on crystallization as his primary research field for the past 11 years, starting in industry and later following an academic path. He obtained his PhD in 2017 from the Technical University of Denmark and H. Lundbeck A/S, for his dissertation on “Design of Continuous Crystallizers for Production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients”. After completing his PhD, he conducted three years of postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), advised by Prof. Allan S. Myerson and Prof. Richard D. Braatz. 

Most of Dr. Capellades’ prior research work involves the development and control of separation processes for pharmaceutical manufacturing, often combining theoretical studies with industrial applications. In his postdoctoral work, he had a leading role in two DARPA-funded projects, including the Pharmacy on Demand project that culminated with the design of portable, refrigerator-sized factories for on-demand pharmaceutical manufacturing. In addition, he has closely collaborated with Amgen for the development of mathematical models for a virtual continuous manufacturing plant. Towards the end of his postdoctoral work, Dr. Capellades worked on the rapid development of crystallization processes for purification as part of DARPA’s Make-It program, and on the real time control of pharmaceutical drying operations in collaboration with Takeda and MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department. Currently, Dr. Capellades leads the Crystallization Science and Pharmaceutical Engineering (CSPE) laboratory at Rowan University. His group focuses on understanding the role of solvents and impurities on small-molecule crystallization kinetics, on the development of novel diagnostics and process design strategies for drug purification, the application of high-throughput experimentation and digital twins for crystallization process design, and on the design of sustainable solutions for water desalination using crystallization.

Please register no later than Tuesday, January 17 at 12 noon. Cancellation requests received by the registration deadline will be fully refunded.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Cynthia Tarun at tarun.aichedvs@gmail.com, 832-341-4960 (Mobile).