CFD of continuous crystallization in a plug flow reactor




Greater Copenhagen area

Some of the current major challenges in continuous industrial crystallization processes at production scale originate from the slow responses of controlled variables and from imperfect mixing due to the large size of the crystallization equipment. This gives rise to spatial variations of temperature, solute concentration and particle size distribution, and makes it difficult to control the different crystallization phenomena including nucleation, growth, attrition and agglomeration. This may result in a final product that does not fulfil the specified requirements of crystal size distribution, shape or yield.

As a solution to this, it has recently been suggested to carry out the crystallization in a continuous fashion, using a plug-flow reactor. Before this crystallization equipment can be constructed, the plug-flow reactor needs to be designed and process variables decided, including the impeller design, impeller speed etc. These decisions must be taken in such a way, that one gets the desired combination of radial mixing, plug-flow, and flow of solids (crystals).

In this project, one needs to develop a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model in order to characterize the flow conditions and mixing behavior within the plug-flow reactor. While designing the reactor, knowledge of the flow patterns, particularly with respect to the type of impeller, will be essential in achieving more efficient mixing throughout the reactor. In the next step, the developed model will be used to evaluate different designs and configurations of the crystallizer. The analysis of the results should give a practical guideline to optimize the reactor and the process operating conditions which can be tested and implemented later on the physical lab unit. 

In collaboration with

Tannaz Tajsoleiman (


General knowledge about CFD / Good knowledge of transport phenomena / Knowledge of crystallization processes is considered as a plus

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Company / Organization

DTU Kemiteknik


Krist V. Gernaey




Supervisor info

MSc in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Krist V. Gernaey

ECTS credits

30 - 35


MSc thesis

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.

Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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