FlowCAT | A Bench-Top, High Pressure Flow Catalysis Platform
The FlowCAT is an automated high-pressure flow catalysis bench-top platform, designed for the development of continuous flow chemical processes. It supports both gas and liquid feeds, and so can facilitate the scale-up of both homogenous and heterogenous chemistries. It typically finds use in chemistries such as:
Control of the chemical process is configurable, and it can be tailored to automatically cover a range of process conditions – the latter of which can also be edited during operation if required. The temperature, pressure, and feed rates of the liquid and gas are all automatically controlled, as is the sampling at the end of each run and the initiation of the next. This delivers a high throughput operation, making the FlowCAT well-suited to a range of applications, including:
Tubular reactors, produced in Hastelloy or Stainless Steel.
Reactors are available in
6 mm, 12 mm, or 18 mm diameters,
150 mm, 280 mm, or 410 mm lengths.
The 150 mm reactors provide approximate working volumes of ~4 mL to ~38 mL.
Between ambient and 300 °C.
Tailored solutions can support sub-ambient operation, or heating to 550°C.
High Pressure and Vacuum Systems
Between ambient and 100 bar.
Options to increase operating pressure to 200 bar.
Working pressure is easily adjusted via the labCONSOL interface.
Intelligent Software Control and Analysis
labCONSOL software control enables regular data logging, multi-step recipes, parameter control, and feedback loops. The software adds a responsive intelligence to the FlowCAT system and still delivers an intuitive interface that needs only minimal training to run quickly.
Full software control of pressure, temperature and feed rates of liquid/gas.
Edit conditions any time without stopping, allowing for changing of reaction conditions with little to no downtime.
A computer-controlled back-pressure regulation valve regulates single and multiple phases of liquids and gases without the need for any adjustments.
FlowCAT reaction output can be integrated with analytical tools such as GC-MS or FTIR probes for on-line reaction evaluation.
Include automatic user-configurable reaction detection and shutdown procedures, to ensure user safety.
Automatic hardware and software fail-safes are installed on every system
In this study, the H.E.L FlowCAT was used for the development and optimization of a process for the production of acetaldehyde via the dehydrogenation of bioethanol. This is the first stage toward a multistep reaction, taking ethanol to higher-value chemicals. This work was carried out at Durham University by Dr. Russell Taylor and Samuel Raynes, to whom all work is accredited. A full copy of the paper is available from the RSC.
In this study, the H.E.L. FlowCAT was used to optimize inflow the reductive hydrogenation of an aliphatic nitro intermediate using a sponge nickel catalyst in a trickle bed reactor. Once optimal conditions were established, 1.2 kg of reagent was successfully reduced via the FlowCAT, with a yield of approximately 90% over a period of 19 hours. This work was carried out by the Chemical Development team and the Clinical Supply Chain team at GSK, to whom all work is accredited.
Presentations from flow and catalysis experts, discussing the benefits and challenges of transferring batch into flow process. Following the presentations, the presenters answer questions from the audience.
Evaluation of Catalysts in a Trickle Bed Reactor for Continuous Hydrogenations (Lee Edwards | GSK)
Cascade Conversion of Biomass Platform Chemicals with Multifunctional Zeolitic Materials (Sam Raynes & Russell Taylor | Durham University)
Taming High Energy Photochemical Processes with Flow: Case Studies and Future Perspectives (Joshua-Philip Barham | University of Regensburg)
For many, a journey into flow chemistry has just begun; therefore, understanding the key aspects of this process is extremely important. Flow chemistry can provide excellent solutions to the chemical industry when utilizing the best and most appropriate technologies to meet demands.
Recently, H.E.L invited four specialist flow chemistry practitioners to speak at an online symposium on the topic. After the speakers had shared their research and experiences and answered questions from delegates, we took the opportunity to ask some questions of our own. Here, our speakers share their own 'pain points' of working in flow.
Does today's take-up of flow chemistry in fields such as photochemistry, electrochemistry, and hazardous gas usage mean that the days are numbered for parallel batch reactor testing? We've been talking to leading experts in flow catalysis in pharmaceutical companies to determine how they address this topic.
The following is a list of supporting Technical Literature.
The HEL Flowcat is a very robust, compact and flexible apparatus for high pressure heterogeneous catalytic processes. Its small footprint and versatility, along with the advantage of having reliable safety features, make the HEL Flowcat an excellent piece of equipment to use. It has impressive potential for scaling up procedures.
Currently Teva is using HEL CAT 7 hydrogenation system. It was effectively used for screening of hydrogenation catalysts and determination of optimal hydrogenation conditions. Our experience with CAT 7 system showed that it can significantly reduce the time needed for a selection of hydrogenation conditions, mostly by rapid identification of the most relevant screening hits for the further research and development process. In conclusion, HEL CAT 7 was found to be very useful choice for our R&D.
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