Enabling total process digital twin in sugar refining through the integration of secondary crystallization influences
Crystallization is the main thermal process resulting in the formation of solid products and, therefore, is widely spread in all kinds of industries, from fine chemicals to foods and drugs. For these high-performance products, a quality by design (QbD) approach is applied to maintain high product purity and steady product parameters. In this QbD-context, especially demanded in the foods and drugs industry, the significance of models to deepen process understanding and moving toward automated operation is steadily rising. To reach these aspired goals, besides major process influences like crystallization temperature, other impacting parameters have to be evaluated and a model describing these influences is sought-after. In this work, the suitability of a population balance-based physico-chemical process model for the production of sugar is investigated. A model overview is given and the resulting model is compared to a statistical DoE scheme. The resulting process model is able to picture the effects of secondary process parameters, alongside temperature or temperature gradients, the influences of seed crystal size and amount, stirrer speed, and additives.