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Dextromethorphan Crystallization Laboratory - Student and Instructor's Versions

By Alexander Vincent Jannini1, David J Krause2, Heather Malino1, Matthew Van der Wielen1, C. S. Slater PhD1, M.J. Savelski1

1. Rowan University 2. Rowan Universtiy


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This is one of a set of experiments designed for lower level undergraduate courses. The focus of the experimental set is to introduce pharmaceutical concepts to undergraduates while also incorporating general engineering educational objectives. This contains both a student version and instructor version.


In this lab, students take a specific mass of dextromethorphan (DXM), an insoluble substance, and adding it to 5 mL of water in a test tube.  Students are then to heat this mixture in a hot water bath, kept at around 90 °C.  The mixture is heated until the students see all the crystals dissolve in the water.  Using a thermocouple, the students will record the point at which crystals start to reform in the test tube.  The students do this for several concentrations in order to make a solubility curve.


The objectives of this experiment are: Students will develop a solubility curve for dextromethorphan; Students will gain an understanding of the techniques of crystallization and how it is used in the pharmaceutical industry; Students will learn the fundamentals of energy balances and heat transfer.


This experiment (and the others in this set) were developed by Rowan University as part of the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Structured Organic Particulate Systems (SOPS)

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Alexander Vincent Jannini; David J Krause; Heather Malino; Matthew Van der Wielen; C. S. Slater PhD; M.J. Savelski (2014), "Dextromethorphan Crystallization Laboratory - Student and Instructor's Versions,"

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