434716 Solids and Particulate Processing Applications

Sunday, November 8, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Juan G. Osorio, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Solids and particulate processing and handling are important aspects in industrial applications. Industries, such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food, catalyst and construction, process their raw materials and final products as solids, with >75% and >50%, respectively. Yet particulates and their processing are not well understood, lacking engineering and design principles, which commonly cause failures in intermediate or final products. This leads to a product yield averaging 40% for solids, while the production rate is about 90% for fluids. Hence, there is a strong need to study solid particulate systems and to develop undergraduate and graduate chemical engineering programs in this field of particle technology.

My doctoral work at Rutgers University focused on understanding material and bulk properties of solids for pharmaceutical applications. I also developed and studied batch and continuous manufacturing processes including feeding, mixing, compression and capsule filling while using process analytical technologies to monitor and control such processes. During my first postdoctoral appointment at Purdue University, I studied granule breakage mechanisms and developed scaling principles in wet particulate systems, which included continuous wet granulation. At my current postdoctoral appointment, I am developing small-scale methods for manufacture of pharmaceutical solid dosage forms.

The common theme in my research work is the understanding and development of solids processes and products through investigation of material and bulk properties, their interactions with equipment and their effect on final products. As a professor, I plan to develop a world-class leading research program in solid particulate systems, not limited to pharmaceutical applications, but an extension into several other industries and areas. I am particularly keen to grow a large portion of my research program to study biomass processing and handling. The latter is a “New Frontier,” as described by the AIChE this year, in solids flow, handling and processing and is needed in the alternative energy realm to increase biofuel yields.

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