February 13, 2024 CE – Crystallization

Continuing Education – Evening Lecture
Crystallization as a Purification Process: Impurity Retention Mechanisms, Diagnostics, and Design Strategies for Organic Crystals

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

Tuesday, February 13, 2024
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 all attendees

Industrial crystallization is heavily used as a purification step and 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. Despite the widespread use of crystallization for purification, the mechanisms by which impurities incorporate in growing crystals in solvent-mediated crystallization are far from understood, and so is the effect of those impurities on the crystal quality attributes.

This lecture will cover recent developments on understanding crystallization as a purification process, discussing (i) the list of observed retention mechanisms in academia, shortlisting those that have been found to dominate rejection challenges in industrial systems, (ii) current diagnostics to identify the prevailing impurity retention mechanism in industrial products, including their advantages and caveats, (iii) general and mechanism-driven methods to control impurity rejection during process development and scale-up, and (iv) the effect of unrejected impurities on process yield, kinetics, and product attributes.

The goal of this lecture is to merge theory and practice, providing a critical view on the state of understanding impurity rejection in crystallization, unaddressed gaps in literature, which mechanisms are most prevalent in industrial crystallization, and which rejection strategies have been most successful. The talk is indicated to anyone with a basic working knowledge on solution crystallization, and it is especially targeted to those working with small organic molecules (including small-molecule pharmaceuticals) aiming to reject structurally similar impurities.

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 12 years, always in very close collaboration with industry. 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. Currently, Dr. Capellades leads the Crystallization Science and Pharmaceutical Engineering (CSPE) laboratory at Rowan University, founded in 2020 and currently involving 15 scientists from the undergraduate to the PhD level. 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 impurity rejection in crystallization, the application of high-throughput experimentation and digital twins for crystallization process design, and the design of sustainable solutions for water desalination using crystallization. Their work has been in close collaboration with several industrial partners, including recent papers with Pfizer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Merck, and Indatech. It has also been funded by multiple industry partners, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Kern Family Foundation.

Please register no later than Tuesday February 13, 2023 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).