Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Microscale Chemical Factory

04.07.2007
Flow-through multistep synthesis

Miniaturization is invading the world of chemical syntheses. Since typical chemical syntheses take place in several reaction steps with various separation or purification steps in between, microchemistry has almost always been limited to one-step reactions or sequences of reactions requiring no purification between steps.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have now produced an integrated multiple-step microscale production line. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, their process includes three reaction steps and two separation processes (one gas–liquid and one liquid–liquid separation). Because it is arranged in a microscale reaction network, it is even possible to configure this process so that related compounds can be simultaneously produced in parallel.

To fully exploit the potential of microscale reaction technology, it is crucial to integrate the necessary separation steps. A team headed by Klavs F. Jensen has recently developed an efficient microfluidic separation technique and has now integrated this concept into a continuously operating, three-step reaction system. Microscale separations are driven by different principles than separations at normal scale, because in microfluidic systems, surface tension forces dominate over gravity.

... more about:
»Separation »microscale »reaction

This is how the microfluidic separation works: A porous separation membrane made of a fluoropolymer is coated with the organic phase of the mixture, which can “sneak through” the fine pores in the membrane. The aqueous phase to be separated off cannot coat the pores that have already been coated by the organic phase, because the two liquids are not miscible; the water can thus not pass through the membrane. The second separation, a gas–liquid separation, is based on the same principle: In this case, the liquid, which contains the intermediate product, wets the membrane and passes through the pores. Meanwhile, the coated membrane blocks the nitrogen gas that is released during the reaction.

To demonstrate their system, the researchers chose the synthesis of carbamates, compounds that are used as pesticides, among other things, and are important building blocks and reagents in chemical syntheses. The three-step synthesis used to make carbamates (the Curtius Rearrangement) involves intermediate products (azides, isocyanates) that have the potential to be dangerous, since some of these types of compounds pose an explosive or health hazard. The advantage of the microscale reaction system is that these intermediates are formed in situ and are then immediately consumed, so they don’t need to be isolated or stored.

If, after the second separation step, the product stream is divided and fed into multiple microreactors, each with a different reagent, a series of different but related carbamates can be produced in parallel.

Author: Klavs F. Jensen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (USA), http://web.mit.edu/CHEME/people/faculty/jensen.html

Title: Multistep Continuous-Flow Microchemical Synthesis involving Multiple Reactions and Separations

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2007, 46, No. 30, 5704–5708, doi: 10.1002/anie.200701434

Klavs F. Jensen | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://web.mit.edu/CHEME/people/faculty/jensen.html

Further reports about: Separation microscale reaction

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>