Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Chemical Engineering

Major Professor

Aydin K. Sunol, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott W. Campbell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Abdul Malik, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark L. McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sermin G. Sunol, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daniel H. Yeh, Ph.D.


SFC, Adsorption, Isomers, Ibuprofen, Pharmaceuticals, Sorption


Supercritical fluids provide a robust, tunable environment with favorable transport properties and enhanced solubility. Supercritical carbon dioxide is an environmentally friendly substance that has distinct advantages to traditional solvents used in large scale chemical processing. Ibuprofen is an enantiomeric drug that has been shown to fight prostate cancer and has been used as a mild Alzheimer's disease treatment in the S conformation. Purification of high value products with decreased hazardous material consumption is accomplished by employing supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC). Large scale, single enantiomer purification of pharmaceuticals is dependent on scale-up information. Equilibrium isotherms provide the necessary information to scale-up these pharmaceutical processes. Purification of pharmaceuticals and isotherm determination was accomplished. Experimental fact has demonstrated that SFC is a reliable technology for pharmaceutical processing. Equilibrium isotherms for pure component ibuprofen enantiomers were determined using Frontal Analysis (FA), Frontal Analysis by Characteristic Points (FACP), Elution by Characteristic Points (ECP), at pressures ranging from 100-150 Bar and 35oC-55oC. The data was fitted to a two parameter Langmuir model with RMSE's ranging from 0.0972-0.6652. FA, FACP and ECP, provided consistent isotherms, as well as, minimum adsorbent bed requirements for purge and regeneration of the SFC system.