Fluid Dynamic and Heat Transfer Simulations of Solid Hollow Fiber Cooling Crystallizer for Continuous Synthesis of Drug Nanoparticles

Xuemin Gao, Bing Wang, Qiuhong Liu, Chen Liu, Mao Li, Kamalesh K. Sirkar, Dengyue Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The study illustrates for the first time a computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based heat transfer model for the novel solid hollow fiber cooling crystallizer (SHFCC) that can produce drug nanoparticles in a continuous and controllable manner. In the SHFCC device, a mixture of water and ethylene glycol is circulated through the shell side of a solid hollow fiber module to rapidly cool the drug solution flowing in the hollow fiber lumen side to produce rapid temperature reduction-induced drug crystals. In this study, a three-dimensional model of an SHFCC device was first constructed using the software GAMBIT and then was exported to the CFD software-FLUENT after the meshing and optimization process, to understand and optimize hydrodynamic and heat transfer characteristics of this device theoretically. The variation of lumen-side flow rate was investigated using CFD to explore the influences of residence time, flow rate, and cooling temperature on the crystal size distribution. Variations of the shell-side temperature and flow rate were also simulated to reveal the heat transfer efficiency of the SHFCC module and understand the phenomenon of temperature reduction-induced precipitation and crystal formation. Actual experimental results were also obtained to investigate the accuracy and usefulness of the CFD model. This research suggested the feasibility and advantages of a combination of CFD simulation with experiments to optimize and control drug crystallization process in the novel SHFCC device to meet the needs of modern pharmaceutical industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4020-4029
Number of pages10
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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