The secondary nucleation process of 2,2-azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) seeded crystallisation in methanol in a stirred tank reactor was studied at varying initial supersaturation levels, temperatures, crystal seed numbers, and stirrer speeds. The average secondary nucleation rate, induction time, and agglomeration ratio were measured using on-line microscopic imaging. The initial supersaturation level, temperature, and stirrer speed were found to be positively correlated with the secondary nucleation rate. A small change in the crystal seed number, i.e., 1-20, did not substantially affect the secondary nucleation rate throughout the secondary nucleation process. An increase in the initial supersaturation level and crystal seed number decreased the induction time, and an increase in the strength of agitation promoted the initiation of secondary nucleation at a stirring rate greater than 250 revolutions per minute (rpm). Temperature exerted a complex effect on the induction time. Regarding the agglomeration ratio, the initial supersaturation level positively correlated with the agglomeration ratio, while the stirrer speed negatively correlated with this parameter. Finally, based on the measured data, the average secondary nucleation rate, induction time, and final crystal suspension density were correlated. This study provides guidance for the control of supersaturation, induction time, stirring, and other factors in the crystal seed addition process in AIBN crystallisation.
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