DSC and adiabatic calorimetry study of the polymorphs of paracetamol: An old problem revisited

  • Boldyreva E
  • Drebushchak V
  • Paukov I
 et al. 
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Monoclinic (I) and orthorhombic (II) polymorphs of paracetamol were studied by DSC and adiabatic calorimetry in the temperature range 5 - 450 K. At all the stages of the study, the samples ( single crystals and powders) were characterized using X-ray diffraction. A single crystal. polycrystal II --> I transformation was observed on heating polymorph II, after which polymorph I melted at 442 K. The previously reported fact that the two polymorphs melt at different temperatures could not be confirmed. The temperature of the II --> I transformation varied from crystal to crystal. On cooling the crystals of paracetamol II from ambient temperature to 5 K, a II --> I transformation was also observed, if the `cooling-heating' cycles were repeated several times. Inclusions of solvent (water) into the starting crystals were shown to be important for this transformation. The values of the low-temperature heat-capacity of the I and II polymorphs of paracetamol were compared, and the thermodynamic functions calculated for the two polymorphs.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adiabatic calorimetry
  • DSC
  • Polymorphs of paracetamol

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