Effect of the modifier on the particle formation and crystallisation behaviour during precipitation from aqueous solutions

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Supercritical Fluids, Volume 44, Number 3, pp. 409-421 (2008)



DOI Name (links to online publication)



polymorph; crystallisation; amorphous; organic solvents; aqueous solutions; pressure phase-equilibria; vapor-liquid-equilibrium; dioxide-methanol-water; carbon-dioxide; supercritical-fluid; beta-glycine; polymorphic systems; elevated pressures; crystal st


Ethanol is a commonly added modifier to supercritical CO2 for particle formation from aqueous solutions. Four modifiers - methanol, ethanol, 2-propanol and acetone - were Studied to determine the extent of the effect of the modifier selection on the particles produced and to determine more precisely the precipitation mechanisms. The strong anti-solvent effect of methanol on the solute was shown by the production of metastable beta-glycine, phenylalanine anhydrate and lysozyme agglomerated nanoparticles. Ethanol showed such an anti-solvent effect only when use at higher fraction in the supercritical phase, followed by 2-propanol and acetone. 2-Propanol and acetone mainly contributed to the precipitation of the solute by increasing the solubility of the water in the supercritical phase. In such precipitation conditions the more stable alpha-glycine, phenylalanine monohydrate and lysozyme microspheres were produced by the evaporation of the solution into the CO2 phase. The putative anti-solvent effect of CO2 in the systems studied was not clearly observed, but it remains that CO2 is essential to the SCF-drying process. (C) 2007 Published by Elsevier B.V.