IL microemulsion extractions

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Chemical Engineering

Abstract

Background
Extraction is a key purification tool in pharmaceutical manufacturing but is mostly done in batch operations. Problems occur with the formation of undesirable emulsions/phases and when extracting hydrophilic species. This research develops the chemistry and engineering of intensified/continuous extraction technology. Apart from traditional solvents, water-hydrophobic ionic liquid systems (IL) and ionic liquid based microemulsions will be used together with the intensified liquid extraction techniques to develop efficient continuous processes for Health. The work targets fast, flexible, low cost, reliable, and GMP-compliant pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. EPSRC Research Areas addressed are: 1) Manufacturing Technologies, 2) Process systems - components and integration.

The majority of Pharmaceutical manufacturing processes have been not only traditionally but also recently done exclusively in batch operation. Modern pharmaceutical manufacturing organizations would like extraction processes that can integrate with continuous up stream flow synthesis and downstream isolation procedures. In addition, continuous manufacturing offers a range of advantages for adaptation over batch including speed, scale minimization, flexibility and safety, making the transition long overdue. Continuous extraction can be achieved by the application of small scale, two-phase contactors. The reduction in size leads to intensification with advantages including increased mass transfer, minimisation of hazardous materials, improved control of hydrodynamics, reduced operating cost and capital cost due to the smaller size of equipment. The ThAMes multiphase group at UCL has developed continuous/ intensified solvent extraction systems including impinging jets and small channels that show high mass transfer and reduced solvent use and have been successfully employed in the past for metal extractions.

In pharmaceutical processes the high cost associated with downstream processing aimed at the purification and recovery of target products is one of the major issues limiting the widespread use of many bio-base products. Separation processes and purification stages usually require numerous steps associated with high energy and chemicals consumption and represent a large percentage of the cost of the final product. Insufficient selectivity is a significant issue. In an one-step process this results in high product losses. The addition of a process auxiliary increases the number of impurities. The solvent should from a medicinal standpoint be as harmless as possible- a fact that dramatically limits the choice of agents. The use of ionic liquids can address this issue. Ionic liquids have high solvation capabilities and the potential to be green alternatives to conventional organic solvents. They have remarkable physicochemical properties such as low volatility, high thermal and chemical stability, low flammability.

Aim-Objectives
The aim of the project is to develop and exploit continuous intensified extractions of 'hydrophobic water' microemulsions based on ILs and to study their application in efficient pharmaceutical solvent extraction processes. The plan for the PhD research is shown below.

Background
Extraction is a key purification tool in pharmaceutical manufacturing but is mostly done in batch operations. Problems occur with the formation of undesirable emulsions/phases and when extracting hydrophilic species. This research develops the chemistry and engineering of intensified/continuous extraction technology. Apart from traditional solvents, water-hydrophobic ionic liquid systems (IL) and ionic liquid based microemulsions will be used together with the intensified liquid extraction techniques to develop efficient continuous processes for Health. The work targets fast, flexible, low cost, reliable, and GMP-compliant pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies. EPSRC Research Areas addressed are: 1) Manufacturing Tech

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517628/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2024
2252748 Studentship EP/T517628/1 23/09/2019 22/09/2023 Yiota Victoria Phakoukaki