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Scaling Batch Processes

How to Develop Flow Processes

| Author / Editor: Charlotte Wiles, Michael Seipel / Doris Popp

Flexible Configuration Allows for Multiple Reagents

The flexible reactor configuration also enables multiple reagent feeds (i.e. A + B —> Intermediate + C = P) to be employed, with the dosing position readily altered in the reactor holder; this means that only two reactor types are required with assembly affording multiple reaction options. The system is therefore flexible in number of reagent inputs (A, B, C and D), reactor configuration (serial or parallel), reactor number (up to 10 per holder) and holder number.

From a fine chemical perspective, the ability to alter the volume of a production process by increasing or decreasing a standard set of modules is of interest as this can reduce the associated operating costs, with ‘batches’ of compound prepared to order. The use of generic reactors also means that once a campaign is complete, the modules can be re-configured and employed for a different process; an important feature in an industry where product lifetimes can range from months to years.

With respect to the pharmaceutical industry, this high degree of flexibility is particularly attractive as it ensures that processes can be performed within a standard laboratory fume cupboard up to the kg·h-1 scale thus addressing the material requirements of Phase I and II without the need for dedicated equipment. It can then be decided for the handful of compounds that make it to production what the most cost effective and efficient synthetic route is and whether to use a dedicated flow reactor installation.

Conclusions:

With a need to decrease costs across the chemical sector in order to increase profitability, continuous flow reactor technology is an emerging area that has the potential to bridge all aspects of a synthetic process. Through the development of a scalable flow technology platform, we can offer researchers at all stages of chemical R&D the opportunity to harness the proven advantages of flow reactor technology. Through close collaboration with the end user and suppliers, the engineering and chemical expertise of Chemtrix offers risk free entry into the rapidly growing field of continuous reactor technology and continued support at all stages of its implementation [4].

If there are extended requirements regarding temperature stability and temperature range, the Lauda Integral XT range offers further thermostats, with the Integral XT range covering a working temperature range of -90 up to 300 °C and a temperature stability up to 0.05 K.

References:

[1] C. Wiles, P. Watts, ‘Micro Reaction Technology in Organic Synthesis’, CRC-Press (2011)[2] U. K. Singh, G. Spencer, R. Osifchin, J. Tabora, O. A. Davidson, C. J. Orella, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 44, 4068-4074 (2005)[3] J. R. Bourne, F. Kozicki, P. Rys, Chem. Eng. Sci., 36, 1643-1648 (1981)[4] See www.chemtrix.com for additional information and publication details

* C. Wiles is an employee of Chemtrix BV, Geleen/The Netherlands. M. Seipel works with Lauda Dr. Wobser GmbH & Co KG, Lauda Königshofen/Germany.

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