Dr Chris John Price

Epsrc Manufacturing Fellow

Chemical and Process Engineering

Personal statement

I am passionate about particles, especially how we can influence their formation by controlling crystallization to deliver particles with physical attributes designed to deliver optimal performance in formulated products. I have recently moved from managing particle science related innovation and product development in the pharmaceutical industry to pursue fundamental research in crystallization focussing on enhancing the purification of organic molecules by active intervention during the crystal growth process.


Addressing the challenges of continuous filtration, washing and drying
Price Chris John, Ottoboni Sara
Continuous manufacturing 2017, (2017)
Development of a novel continuous filtration unit for pharmaceutical process development and manufacturing : a case study using paracetamol
Ottoboni S., Price C. J., Steven C., Meehan E., Barton A., Mitchell A.
Filtech, (2016)
The impact of paracetamol impurities on face-specific properties : investigating the surface of single crystals using TOF-SIMS
Ottoboni Sara, Chrubasik Michael, Mir Bruce Layla, Nguyen Thai Thu Hien, Johnston Blair, Florence Alastair, Price Chris John
Crystal Growth of Organic Materials, (2016)
The impact of solvent systems, process conditions and structurally related impurities on the growth rate and morphologies of paracetamol crystals
Price Chris John, Mir Bruce Layla, Nguyen Thai Thu Hien, Hadil Hailani
Crystal Growth of Organic Materials, (2016)
Adipic acid primary nucleation kinetics from probability distributions in droplet-based systems under stagnant and flow conditions
Rossi Damiano, Gavriilidis Asterios, Kuhn Simon, Candel Miguel Ardid, Jones Alan G., Price Chris, Mazzei Luca
Crystal Growth and Design Vol 15, pp. 1784-1791, (2015)
Particles & opportunities
Price Chris
Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Solid State Pharmaceutical Cluster Joint Meeting, (2015)

more publications

Professional activities

What the pharmaceutical industry needs from fine particles
Industrial Crystallization: Batch & Continuous
Impurities: A neglected challenge
Crystallizing and isolating pharmaceuticals: Addressing some of the remaining challenges
Talk to your crystallographer - Essential conversations and critical relationships for partners in Directed Assembly
How does the pharmaceutical industry bring a new drug to market. Why crystallize it continuously? What is the role of ultrasound?

more professional activities


Future Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation Research Hub (CMAC Hub)
Florence, Alastair (Principal Investigator) Halbert, Gavin (Co-investigator) Johnston, Blair (Co-investigator) Nordon, Alison (Co-investigator) Price, Chris John (Co-investigator) Sefcik, Jan (Co-investigator) Ter Horst, Joop (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jan-2017 - 31-Dec-2023
Doctoral Training Centre In Continuous Manufacturing And Crystallisation | Ottoboni, Sara
Price, Chris John (Principal Investigator) Nordon, Alison (Co-investigator) Ottoboni, Sara (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 01-Oct-2018
Assessment of continuous filter unit and assessment of filter cake washing efficiency (student secondment)
Price, Chris John (Principal Investigator)
Period 23-Nov-2015 - 22-Nov-2017
KTP - Alconbury Weston
Price, Chris John (Principal Investigator) Mulheran, Paul (Co-investigator)
Period 07-Dec-2015 - 06-Dec-2017
Transforming Industrial Crystallization by Sono-mechanical Manipulation of Crystal Surfaces
Price, Chris John (Fellow)
"Purification is a vital process in chemical manufacture that ensures only the desired product is obtained and unwanted or hazardous impurities are effectively removed. Many every day materials are purified by crystallization. It is the principal purification technique in the pharmaceutical, fine chemical, paint, pigment and agrochemical sectors. The UK chemical industry turnover is £55 billion or 11% of the value of UK manufacturing. The UK pharmaceutical sector generated a trade surplus of £5.5 billion in 2012 with exports of £20.9 billion. (UK Manufacturers' Sales by Product (PRODCOM) 2011 (ONS December 2012) HMRC UK Trade Information June 2013). During crystallization molecules assemble together to form crystals with a regular 3D packing arrangement known as a lattice. Purification occurs by molecular recognition at the solution - lattice interface. At some sites on the crystal surface the mismatch between the impurity molecule and the lattice is so large that the impurity is rejected. At other sites the lattice mismatch is small enough for the impurity to attach to the crystal face. The portion of the impurity molecule facing away from the crystal face may differ so much from the adjacent molecules that it disrupts and slows the subsequent growth on that crystal face. Increasing the crystallization driving force results in the impurity being overgrown and incorporated into the product. Typical feed streams to industrial crystallizations contain several % of impurities so these interactions are very frequent and have serious consequences. Sometimes the product is so impure it has to be re-crystallized. Impurity poisoning of crystal growth increases processing time slowing the approach to equilibrium so much that some product has to be left in solution and lost in the waste stream. Improving crystal purity and increasing efficiency through improved yield and accelerating crystallization processes are amongst the major challenges identified by the European Fedtion of Chemical Engineering Working Party on Crystallization, (Biscans Industrial Crystallization Challenges and Scientific Issues Sept 2011). Intervening to remove impurities from the growing crystal surface during crystallization will overcome this problem increasing product purity and productivity, reducing waste and delivering crystals with improved performance. Ultrasound is uniquely suited to this task as sound propagates through media by interaction with every molecule present. Frequencies in the KHz to MHz range are high enough to intervene as each molecular layer is added to the growing crystal. The proposed mechanisms involve increased molecular motion adjacent to the growing crystal improving transport to and from the crystal faces. Highly localised perturbations caused by cavitation events lead to momentary local temperature fluctuations. When these occur close to strained regions of the lattice where impurities are attached they favour release of the impurity molecules. Although there has been previous work sonocrystallization this is a new area of application that will develop new understanding and lead to a new process capability. The approach benefits batch processes but will be especially valuable in continuous processes where accelerating crystallization will reduce residence time in what is usually the longest process step. This is strategic for the pharmaceutical sector where batch processing dominates but there is a strong drive to switch to continuous operation for financial, quality and sustainability reasons. Undertaking this project at Strathclyde University aligns it with major national manufacturing research activities including the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing and Doctoral Training Centre in Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation (CMAC) and dedicated facility within the £89M University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) designed to promote continuous processing, particularly crystallization."
Period 28-Apr-2014 - 27-Apr-2019

more projects


Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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