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 Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>