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DSM hopes microreactor will give big gains

By Nick Taylor , 05-Feb-2009

 

DSM is evaluating Micronit Microfluidics’ new microreactor, which has been developed to perform industrial scale fluid reactions of fine chemicals in a continuous process.

 

Micronit has predominately been involved in developing lab-on-a-chip microreactors for synthesis and optimalisation research and has now applied this knowledge to a larger scale.

DSM is now evaluating the use of the technology, which is said to be safer and more efficient than batch processes and can be easily scaled up by adding additional reactors.

Raf Reintjens, competence manager process intensification at DSM Pharmaceutical Products, said: "Microreactor technology has been identified by DSM Pharmaceutical Products as a promising way of process intensification, significantly improving the sustainability of some production processes.

"The road to industrial applications requires a close collaboration with suppliers, as the scale up (parallelisation) turns out to be not simple. DSM Pharmaceutical Products sees Micronit as one of the suppliers that are capable of this."

Micronit’s technology consists of a monolithic glass module of 10 stacked reaction channels, the temperature of which is actively controlled by integrated cooling channels.

The 10 channels have a combined volume of 100mm and by incorporating these into one module the microreactor should require less lab space and peripheral equipment, which helps cut costs.

Further savings of time and money are made by designing the microreactor to the specific needs of the chemistry, which reduces the number of problems that are encountered during scale-up.

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