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Solubility and micronisation of phenacetin in supercritical carbon dioxide

Xing Wu, Jian-Min Yi, Yue-Jin Liu, Yong-Bing Liu, and Pan-Liang Zhang

Department of Chemical Engineering, Hunan Institute of Science and Technology, Yueyang, 414000, Hunan, China



Abstract: The rapid expansion of a supercritical solution (RESS) process represents an attractive prospect for producing sub-micron and nano-particles of medical compounds with low solubility. The solubility of phenacetin in supercritical carbon dioxide was measured by the analytical-isothermal method at pressures ranging from 9.0 MPa to 30.0 MPa and temperatures ranging from 308.0 K to 328.0 K. The results show that the mole fraction solubility of phenacetin in supercritical carbon dioxide is up to 10−5. Four density-based semi-empirical models were introduced to correlate the experimental data. Agreement between the model predictions and experimental data is greater with the Adachi-Lu-modified Chrastil model than with the Chrastil model, Méndez-Santiago-Teja model, and the Bartle model and the average absolute relative deviation (AARD) observed is 0.0483. The preparation of fine phenacetin particles by the RESS process under different conditions of extraction temperatures (308.0–328.0 K), extraction pressures (9.0–30.0 MPa), nozzle temperatures (373.0–393.0 K), nozzle diameters (0.1–0.8 mm), and collection distance (20.0–40.0 mm) was investigated. The size and morphology of the resultant particles were analysed by SEM. A remarkable modification in size and morphology can be obtained by condition-optimisation.

Keywords: RESS – micronisation – phenacetin – solubility – solubility models

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-013-0328-6


Chemical Papers 67 (5) 517–525 (2013)

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