Generating a Process Intensification Factor of ~ 700
Microinnova successfully transferred a highly exothermic alkoxylation reaction usually performed in a batch vessel to a continuously operated process. In the batch process, the reaction heat was controlled by slow dosing of reactant, which required a reaction time of 12 h. This extremely time-consuming step was the crucial driver to developing a more efficient continuous process.
- Fast and excellent mixing quality increased heat transfer rates
- Eased heat control enabled new operation window (higher T, p)
- Acceleration of reaction time to only 1 minute
- Modular multi-purpose application with optional residence time
The final flow mini plant with a capacity of up to 20 l/h and a possible processing temperature of up to 250°C was designed in a modular way. To integrate variability in residence time and come up with the client’s need for a multi-purpose and flexible production system an optional reaction module was provided.
Process Development and Plant Concept for a Continuous Hydrogenation Plant
Mobile and efficient hydrogenation is a well-known target. In a feasibility study, Microinnova demonstrated that compact plants for polymer hydrogenation are possible. The target was to develop a concept for a mobile hydrogenation plant with a manufacturing capacity of more than 1 ton per hour. Feasibility studies in our laboratories translated a process suitable for this kind of application. The key element to do this was the process intensification of the hydrogenation reaction. Our lab team was able to demonstrate a process with reaction times of minutes instead of hours, as is the case in conventional processes. The development team was very proud to have been able to present this success for viscous raw materials.
Environmental & Economic Impact of Solvent Free Continuous API Manufacture of a Rufinamide Precursor
In the pharma and fine chemical industries, the development of continuous flow technologies is a process intensification step of primary importance for the manufacturing of high‐quality products, while reducing negative ecological impact and cost of production. The sustainability and profitability of a process can be measured through life cycle assessment and cost evaluation. However, when applied to emerging technologies based on flow chemistry these need to be performed at different stages of the process development in order to limit the uncertainties arising from the scale‐up. Hence, providing high‐fidelity projections of ecological impact and costs at larger scales.
Therefore, we perform an assessment at two different scales of production (lab and mini pilot plant scale) with the aim of quantifying the uncertainties of the assessment related to the scale‐up, identifying the hotspots of the system, and hence providing guidelines for further steps of process development. One such process that was successfully optimized using this process was the synthesis of Rufinamide. Importantly, in this case, the identification and implementation of effective solvent-free conditions was evaluated at a pilot scale for the first time.
Continuous Precipitation Increases the Safety Level of a Manufacturing Plant
The starting point for the project was an accident at the site of one of our clients. A powder explosion in a milling step had caused significant damage. Therefore, Microinnova’s target was to avoid the milling step in the manufacturing process and to develop a flow chemistry process for the precipitation application, reaching the necessary particle size in the precipitation without the milling step. By influencing the nucleation and the particle growth by means of continuous manufacturing we were able to cut out the milling step, since the continuous process already delivered the desired particle size. In this process intensification of precipitation project Microinnova delivered a continuous lab plant for lab pilot tests.
Continuous manufacturing offers an interesting toolbox for the process intensification of API manufacturing processes.
Improving safety by generating hazardous substances in-situ for immediate consumption.
Improving enzymatic oxidations by using flow chemistry technology.