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A universal theory for drying pharmaceutical hydrate/solvate organic crystals

Project Description

Around one third of organic molecules are able to form hydrates and solvates and this includes a number of AstraZeneca compounds in commercial manufacture and in development. In this project we aim to develop an universal theory of drying in particle beds that encompasses both drying under vacuum and with convective N2 drying and takes into account the location of the solvent in both liquid, and solid phase (hydrate or solvate crystals) of the drying mass. The impact of solvates/hydrates in the model is via a mass transfer resistance internal to the crystals, and depending on solvate content. The new drying model will be based on mass transfer resistances in the horizontal plane (in analogy with Catalytic reactor bed models where this approach has been very successful) coupled to diffusion and flow in the axial direction towards the bed outlet. Prediction of drying time of hydrates and solvates is not possible using our current models . Drying time is often the bottleneck in the process and is where we frequently encounter issues on scale-up and technical transfer. A better model will allow us the make changes to increase drying efficiency and robustness, as well as increasing the reliability of a digital twin. The postgraduate researcher will work with in a vibrant chemical engineering department and gain a range of numerical, experimental and analytical skills. Working in close collaboration with industrial supervisors will ensure the project is relevant, and helps the student comprehend the nature of their innovations. The opportunity to demonstrate the techniques developed on AZ compounds during a stay at AZ will be an excellent demonstration of the research project’s impact.

Funding Notes

UK/EU – EPSRC Studentship for 3.5 years paying academic fees and maintenance. UK applicants are eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. EU applicants are eligible for Fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.  Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.

How good is research at University of Leeds in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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