After more than 38 years of batch process design we discovered flow chemistry seven years ago.
The heavy chemical (petrochemical) chemistry has been adopting this approach for decades, and the fine chemical (pharmaceutical) industry has been interested in it since 2003.
The “flow chemistry” process
Chemical production traditionally takes place in flasks or reactors which increase in size according to requirements. Large quantities of reagents are involved and this may result in industrial disasters in the case of an uncontrolled reaction. Because of this the chemical sites are very closely monitored: classified installation, Seveso sites. In the flow chemistry approach the large quantities are obtained over time. This is why, instead of proceeding successively from one stage of the process to another, they are carried out simultaneously on small instantaneous quantities. The thermal transfers are controlled because of the small size, sensors monitor the reaction parameters and are also able to control the halting of production by means of processors in the event of faults.
FlowChem, the factory of the future
NWe have positioned ourselves in the “mesofluidic” sector. Production scale:
4 to 5 kg/hour, i.e. 100 kg per day.
- Process flow: approx. 150 ml/minute, which limits the risks in the event of an incident.
An environmentally friendly process
Flow chemistry, what are the advantages?
- Fewer undesirable impacts
- No secondary reactions
- Less excess reagent
- Continuous production
- Higher output
- Limited environmental constraints