Continuous Processing

Why continuous?

  • Safe handling of inherently hazardous reagents and processes at scale
  • Yield improvement for existing processes
  • Enabling of new chemistries
  • Improved Cost of Goods and Environmental Performance

Excellent heat transfer and dissipation – Control of exothermic reactions is readily achieved through the much smaller surface area / volume ratios associated with typical continuous flow reactors. This is very important for controlling highly exothermic reactions leading to safer, higher yielding and more consistent processes. Many strongly exothermic processes, for example organolithium reactions are typically carried out at very low (cryogenic) temperatures. Continuous flow technology often allows the operation of such processes closer to ambient temperature, thus saving time and energy. Minimal temperature gradients (both axial and radial) give improved control of side reactions with more consistent and predictable process performance.

“Instant” mixing – important for fast reactions   Minimizes reagent and temperature gradients allowing better control of side reactions, particularly for fast reactions which occur at the same timescale as mixing.

Minimal reagent / reaction mixture inventories essentially obviate concerns with energetic chemistries.  Tightly controllable flow rates and mixing ratios lead to highly consistent and reproducible processes that are fast to scale up, unlike batch processes where scale issues can materialize from one scale to the next ( for e.g. different agitator and vessel geometry factors). Safe execution of the following chemistries can be achieved:

  • Organolithium
  • Azide
  • Nitroalkane
  • Phosgene

Lacamas Laboratories uses continuous flow technology where appropriate to generate more consistent, higher yielding and more cost effective processes for its customers.