The impurity effect on the crystal properties, such as particle size and shape distribution is significant, having significant impact on the downstream processes as well as on the product effectiveness. Currently very few studies exist that provide a quantitative model to describe crystal purity resulting from crystallization processes in impure media and none to take into account the simultaneous effect of multiple impurities. Hence, the understanding of the effect of multiple impurities on crystallization process is important in order to obtain the desired product properties. Batch crystallization of potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KDP) from aqueous solution in the presence of impurities was investigated experimentally by using online Particle Vision and Measurement (PVM) tool with real-time image analysis. A mathematical model to describe crystal purity and aspect ratio is proposed based on a morphological population balance equation including primary nucleation, growth of characteristic faces and multi-site, competitive adsorption of impurities. The model parameters were identified and validated using crystallization experiments in mixtures of two impurities with variable composition. The developed and validated model can be an efficient tool for the investigation of crystallization processes in impure media with multiple impurities. The model can also serve as an effective tool for process and product design or optimization.
Financial support provided by the European Research Council
Grant No. [280106-CrySys] is gratefully acknowledged.