Although the chemical industry has used continuous flow process plants for years, it is relatively new to the pharmaceutical industry. With skyrocketing costs for batch small molecule pharmaceutical plants reaching over $1,000 per square foot1. Continuous Flow Chemistry provides a lower installed cost alternative.
Besides installed cost there are many other benefits as you can see shown below.
Benefits of Flow Chemistry 2
- Improve safety, even in exothermic chemical reactions
- Rapid analysis, optimization and scale-up of a chemical reactions
- Reduce cycle time
- Increase quality and yield
Hazardous Compounds 2
Continuous flow chemistry can be used for potentially hazardous reactions, including:
- Hydrogenation – flammable, combustible, detonation risk
- Oxidation – exothermic, highly reactive, explosion hazard
- Halogenation – corrosive, toxic
- Nitrogen Compounds – exothermic, explosive, toxic
- Reactive Low MW Carbon Compounds – toxic, CO, cyanides, phosgene
Hazardous compounds can be produced on demand so that minimal amounts exist within the process and none of thin storage.
At these smaller process sizes there are unique equipment that is available such as Tribologiks, LLC Spinning Tube in A Tube STT® Reactor4.
STT® technology creates significant increases in reaction rates where momentum, heat, or mass transfer are issues.
In addition to the benefits gained in discovering new approaches to chemical reaction synthesis, this continuous flow reactor can accelerate reaction rates by up to 5,000 times and in some cases can handle slurries, gas – liquid reactions, and liquid – liquid reactions.
Photochemical reactions are easily achieved with a metal reactor and a glass stator which allows UV light to pass.
- The Cost of Pharmaceutical Facilities, Dr. Scott Rudge, December 10, 2012
- Continuous Flow Chemistry, Mettler Toledo
- Process Intensification – Think Small, R. C. Costello, Innovations in Pharmaceutical Technology, June 2002
- Conversations with Phil Lichtenberger. CEO of Tribologiks, LLC