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SSPC Impact Case Study: Sustainability

The Modelling of Multi-Phase Transport Processes to enable automation in manufacturing (MOMEnTUM)

Project Lead:

Prof. Gavin Walker, Prof. Harry Van Den Akker and Prof. Stephen O’Brien

Project Partner:

Johnson & Johnson Automation Centre of Excellence and Rusal Aughinish Alumina

Research Theme: Manufacturing/Modelling
Funded Investigators: Dr Emmet O’Reilly, Dr Luis Padrela
Academic Partners: University of Limerick
Project Start/End Date: Jan 2016 – June 2021

The Challenge

The MOMEnTUM Spoke project is centred along diagnostic themes in specific areas of process modelling to enable control and automation within “substance” processing. The manufacture of pharmaceutics, biopharmaceutics, and chemical products is complex and costly.

The Solution

Powder/Particle modelling for process design
The project identified opportunities to minimize manufacturing cycle time and develop cost effective, optimized processes for the manufacture of chemical and biological powder/granule substances. The project also identified opportunities to investigate alternative unit operations with continuous manufacturing processes to replace batch and subsequent agglomeration/breakage processes for bulk chemical and biologics to increase plant manufacturing capacity.

Multiphase CFD for process design
The project also addressed underlying challenges relating to processing of raw materials, polymers and biopharmaceutical materials, which are commonly processed as fluids in Irish manufacturing operations. Specific sector agnostic mathematical modelling of MOMEnTUM transfer and separation process engineering research topics concentrated on computational fluid mechanics to enable hybrid processes and process intensification, which can be applied across manufacturing.

The Impact

Achieving high efficiency and increased plant manufacturing capacity at low cost, demands innovative engineering design and scale-up approaches for chemical and biologic substance processing.

The SFI funded SPOKES project MOMEnTUM brought together researchers from SSPC and the SFI funded MACSI – Mathematics Application Consortium at the University of Limerick to build on the knowledge and research expertise in process modelling and powder processing which underpins all manufacturing sectors nationally and internationally. The mathematical modelling expertise provided by MACSI complements the pharmaceutical process engineering skillset of SSPC. Researchers from both centres worked closely together on this project fostering knowledge sharing between the two disciplines. Researchers on the project benefited greatly from being involved in a whole solution approach to the research challenge, which in turn increased their understanding of the impact of their research and further developed their skillset for future projects.

The Pathway

This is an example of how an idea/funding/projects started and grew into something bigger through phases, groups etc.

Key Publications

1. A Ziaee, AB Albadarin, L Padrela, T Femmer, E O’Reilly, G Walker, Spray drying of pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals: Critical parameters and experimental process optimization approaches, (2019), Eu. J. Pharm. Sci., 127, pp. 300-318.
2. Ahmad Ziaee, Ahmad B. Albadarin, Luis Padrela, Alexandra Faucher, Emmet O’Reilly, Gavin Walker, Spray drying ternary amorphous solid dispersions of ibuprofen – An investigation into critical formulation and processing parameters, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 120, 2017, Pages 43-51, ISSN 0939-6411, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2017.08.005.
3. Castro-Dominguez, B., Moroney, K., Schaller, B., O’Connor, S., Cloonan, A., Vo, T.T.N., Walker, G., O’Reilly, E.J., Electrospun API-loaded mixed matrix membranes for controlled release, (2017) RSC Advances 7, 43300–43309. doi:10.1039/c7ra08600h
4. Schaller, B.E., Moroney K.M., Castro-Dominguez, B., Cronin, P., Belen-Girona, J., Ruane, P., Croker, D.M., Walker, G.M., 2019. Systematic development of a high dosage formulation to enable direct compression of a poorly flowing API., (2019), Inter. J. Pharm Jul 20;566:615-630.
5. Crawford, D.E., Miskimmin, C.K.G., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G., James, S.L., Organic synthesis by Twin Screw Extrusion (TSE): Continuous, scalable and solvent-free (2017) Green Chem., 19 (6), pp. 1507-1518.
6. Davis, M.T., Egan DP, Kuhs M, Albadarin AB, Griffin CS, Collins JA, Walker, G., Amorphous solid dispersions of BCS class II drugs: A rational approach to solvent and polymer selection (2016) Che. Eng. Res. & Design, 110, pp. 192-199.
7. Davis, M.T., Potter CB, Mohammadpour M, Albadarin AB, Walker GM. et al., Design of spray dried ternary solid dispersions comprising itraconazole, soluplus and HPMCP (2017) Inter. J. Pharm., 519 (1-2), pp. 365-372.
8. Douglas, P., Kuhs M, Sajjia M, Khraisheh M, Walker G, Collins MN, et al., Bioactive PCL matrices with a range of structural and; rheological properties (2016) Reactive & Func. Polymers, 101, pp. 54-62.
9. Douglas, P., Albadarin AB, Sajjia M, Mangwandi C, Kuhs M, Collins MN, Albadarin AB, Effect of poly ethylene glycol on the mechanical and thermal properties of bioactive poly(ε- caprolactone) melt extrudates for pharmaceutical applications (2016) Inter. J. Pharm., 500 (1- 2), pp. 179-186.
10. Kuhs M, Moore J, Kollamaram G, Walker G, Croker D., Predicting optimal wet granulation parameters for extrusion-spheronisation of pharmaceutical pellets, (2017) Inter. J. Pharm., 517 (1-2), pp. 19-24.
11. Pishnamazi M., Casilagan, S., Clancy, C., Shirazian, S., Iqbal, J., Egan, D., Edlin, C., Croker, D.M., Walker, G.M., and Collins, M.N. Microcrystalline Cellulose, Lactose and Lignin Blends: Process Mapping of Dry Granulation via Roll Compaction, Powder Technology (2019), Volume 341, 38-50.
12. Pishnamazi, M., Iqbal, J., Shirazian, S., Walker, G.M., and Collins, M.N. Effect of lignin as natural polymer on the release rate of acetylsalicylic acid tablets, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, (2019) 124, 345-359.
13. Pishnamazi, Mahboubeh & Ismail, Hamza & Shirazian, Saeed & Iqbal, Javed & Walker, Gavin & Collins, Maurice. (2019). Application of lignin in controlled release: development of predictive model based on artificial neural network for API release. Cellulose. 26. 10.1007/s10570-019-02522-w.
14. Pishnamazi, M., Hafizi, H., Shirazian, S., Walker, G.M., and Collins, M.M. Design of controlled- release system for paracetamol based on modified lignin, Polymers (Basel). 2019 Jun 18;11(6):1059.
15. Sajjia, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G., Statistical analysis of industrial-scale roller compactor ‘Freund TF-MINI model’, (2016) Inter. J. Pharm., 513 (1-2), pp. 453-463.
16. Sajjia, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G. et al. Mechanistic modelling of industrial-scale roller compactor ‘Freund TF-MINI model’ (2017) Computers & Chem. Eng., 104, pp. 141-150
17. Sajjia, M., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G. et al. ANN Analysis of a Roller Compaction Process in the Pharmaceutical Industry (2017) Chem. Eng. & Tech., 40 (3), pp. 487-492.
18. Shirazian, S., Albadarin, A.B., Walker, G. et al. Artificial neural network modelling of continuous wet granulation using a twin-screw extruder (2017) Inter. J. Pharm., 521 (1-2), pp. 102-109.
19. Mukherjee, S., Berghout, P., & Van den Akker, H.E.A. (2019). A lattice Boltzmann approach to surfactant‐laden emulsions. AIChE Journal, 65(2), 811-828.
20. Berghout, P., & Van den Akker, H.E.A. (2019). Simulating drop formation at an aperture by means of a Multi-Component Pseudo-Potential Lattice Boltzmann model. Int. Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 75, 153-164.
21. Van den Akker, H.E.A. (2018). Lattice Boltzmann simulations for multi-scale chemical engineering. Current Opinion In Chemical Engineering, 21, 67-75.
22. Pourtousi, M., Safdari, A., Shardt, O., Van den Akker, H.E.A. Interfacial tension in the pseudopotential LBM with multiple non-ideal components. (Journal paper in preparation).
23. Mukherjee, S., Safdari, A., Shardt, O., Kenjeres, S., Van den Akker, H.E.A. (2020). Droplet-turbulence interactions and quasi-equilibrium dynamics in turbulent emulsions. J. Fluid Mechanics, 878, 221-276
24. Srinivasan, S., Van den Akker, H.E.A., Shardt, O. (2020). Shear thickening and history-dependent rheology of monodisperse suspensions with finite inertia via an immersed boundary lattice Boltzmann method. Int. J. Multiphase Flow, 125, 103205
25. Srinivasan, S., Van den Akker, H.E.A., Shardt, O. (2021). Numerical simulations of dense granular suspensions in laminar flow under constant and varying shear rates. Computers & Fluids, under review
26. Srinivasan, S., Van den Akker, H.E.A., Shardt, O. (2021). Inclusion of DLVO forces in simulations of non-Brownian solids suspensions: rheology and structure. Int. J. Multiphase Flow, submitted

Conferences Presentations

a. Optimization of microcrystalline cellulose and lignin for dry granulation of pharmaceutical formulations, ECO-BIO 2018 conference, Dublin, Oral presentation.
b. Development of a process map for dry granulation by roll compaction, 8th International Granulation Conference, 2017, Sheffield, Oral presentation.
c. Roll compaction integrated work stream in pharmaceutical manufacturing: population balance modeling, 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, 2017, Barcelona, Oral presentation.
d. Continuous dry granulation of pharmaceutical powder using roll compaction process, EUPAT8 conference, 2016, Cork, Poster presentation.
e. Design of controlled release system for paracetamol based on modified lignin, Bioengineering conference 2019, Limerick, Oral presentation.
f. The influence of lignin on API content uniformity in continuous Twin-Screw wet- granulation process, 9th International granulation conference 2019, Lausanne

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