Flow chemistry uses a continuous process to mix two or more reactants into a mixing chamber, typically a pipe or tube configuration. The flow process forces the reaction to take place in rapid succession. The mixture moves through the system until eventually arriving at the output at the optimal temperature.
Compared to traditional batch chemistry, this process is safer and more efficient. Using a single collection point instead of multiple vessels offer more control over raw materials, reducing the risk of contact with hazardous chemicals and maximizing material use. The pressure, force and design of flow systems allow chemists to achieve mixtures that were inaccessible using batch processes.
At the component level, most flow process systems utilize pumps for transporting materials into looped systems where reagents are added. The mixture flows into reactors designed to ensure optimal residence time, traveling through thin passageways to best control temperature during the entire process.
Systems often include advanced controls offering instant data for adjustments without disassembly, a need to take samples or having to interrupt the production process.
Modern Applications for Flow Chemistry
Flow chemistry is a popular method for chemical manufacturers and has been for decades. Today, more manufacturers are adopting flow chemistry into their processes for greater efficiency and consistent control over their finished product. This process is also safer than batch chemistry, keeping materials contained and reducing the risk of accidental exposure.
Common applications for continuous flow processes include producing pharmaceuticals, advanced polymers and other complex reactions too hazardous or toxic for large-scale batch production. These include:
The Benefits of Flow Chemistry
Applying continuous flow chemistry offers several benefits, including:
- Precise control:Flow process systems offer increased control over mixing, temperature and residence time. By controlling more variables and conditions, this process improves overall product purity and minimizes the chance for a defect.
- Adaptable configurations: If you need to change the mixture, process or yield, you can do so using a relatively fast and simple process. Flow chemistry reactors use a modular design and, compared to batch systems, will typically require less space in a facility.
- Improved safety: Flow chemistry reduces accidental exposure to unsafe and hazardous chemicals through an automated and contained production process. Using programmed controls, continuous flow systems also eliminate the need for sampling and other steps that could place people at risk.
- Increased yield: Pharmaceutical companies, modern chemical manufacturers and other volume producers will benefit from higher production speeds, adjustable yield control and a faster reaction cycle time.
Production Solutions Using Flow Chemistry
Replace your processes with a flow chemistry reactor custom-engineered for your applications. Kilolabs works with pharmaceutical manufacturers, chemical researchers and companies looking to improve their production processes or create new ones. We have over 30 years of experience helping our customers reduce waste, improve safety, increase yield and obtain a higher purity.
For more information, or to ask about custom chemistry reactors for your business or laboratory, request more information online or call 215-675-5700.