PolyBLOCK | Compact Automated Parallel Synthesis Platform

Key Features

– 4 or 8 Independent reaction zones
–Independent temperature control (100 °C difference between zones, temperature range of -40 °C to +200 °C)
– Independent agitation control (250 to 1500 rpm, suspended mechanical or overhead stirring available)
– Small footprint – no larger than a typical laboratory notebook
– Use any combination of reaction vessels on one platform
– Intuitive control software with a choice of interfaces

Designed to maximize your laboratory’s productivity, parallel synthesis technologies with PolyBLOCK is an easy-to-use, flexible, and compact multi-reactor system.

With either four (PolyBLOCK 4) or eight (PolyBLOCK 8) independently controlled and monitored zones, PolyBLOCK 4 offers working volumes of up to 500 ml and PolyBLOCK 8 up to 120 ml.  Reactor options range from 1 ml HPLC vials to round or flat-bottom flasks up to 250 ml and custom reaction vessels up to 500 ml.

Agitation in each zone is independently controlled and temperature monitoring and control is offered with either reactor and/or zone temperature.

Features and Options

Temperature Control

  • Ambient to 200 °C (without external circulator, software limited).
  • Options to decrease the range down to -40 ⁰C (circulator dependent)
  • Separate mantle around each reactor allows the temperature to be controlled individually, with a range/difference of over 100 °C between the reactors

Independent Stirring

  • Indirect agitation with magnetic stirrer bar as standard.
  • Suspended mechanical agitation for efficient mixing on small-scale and non-viscous samples.
  • Optional Overhead direct agitation for larger vessels.

Intelligent Software Control and Analysis

  • Control software enables regular data logging, multi-step recipes, parameter control, and feedback loops.

Safety Features

  • Include automatic user-configurable reaction detection and shutdown procedures, to ensure user safety.
  • Automatic hardware and software fail-safes are installed on every system.

Condensing Options

  • Easy quick-connect solution for condensing and inerting in larger reactors. Seals allow condensers to be removed without cooling liquid spillage.
  • Also available reflux and inerting block, with adapters for vials, tubes, and reactors


Reactor Options

  • Vessel types are available in Glass, Stainless Steel, or Hastelloy. With reactor volumes up to 500 ml.
  • High Pressure and Vacuum Systemsavailable, more details on our high-pressure system can be found via PolyBLOCK High Pressure.
  • Sampling Systems through active pumps, manual dip tubes, automated level control, or multisampling units, like the ASU.
  • Reagent Addition through fully automated liquid and gas feeds as well as volumetric syringe pumps. These solutions can be applied to both high and low-pressure systems.
  • Control Options all relevant inputs can be logged, enabling automated monitoring and, where appropriate, feedback control of the reactor system.
  • Sensor Options
    • Temperature, pressure, pH, turbidity, conductivity.
    • Integration of third-party probes is possible, such as in-situ FTIR, particle sizing probes and Raman probes.

Technical Literature

The following is a list of supporting Technical Literature.

Characterization of the maximum heating performance for the multi-reactor PolyBLOCK 8

Characterization of the cooling performance for the multi-reactor PolyBLOCK 8

Characterization of the heating performance for the multi-reactor PolyBLOCK 8

Characterization of the maximum heating capabilities of the multi-reactor PolyBLOCK 4

Characterization of the heating capability for the multi-reactor PolyBLOCK 4


The following are a list of some technical publications which highlight the use of the equipment.

Structural analysis of metastable pharmaceutical loratadine form II, by 3D electron diffraction and DFT+D energy minimisation

Grahame R. Woollam, *a Partha P. Das, *b Enrico Mugnaioli, c Iryna Andrusenko, c Athanassios S. Galanis,b Jacco van de Streek, d Stavros Nicolopoulos,b Mauro Gemmi c and Trixie Wagnere


https://doi.org/10.1039/D0CE01216E(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Rapid synthesis of sodium-rich Prussian white for Sodium-ion battery via a bottom-up approach

Yuming Xi Yangcheng Lu


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2020.126688(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Tailoring morphology and bulk density of magnesium ethoxide particles by adding n-hexane and silicone oil

Zhou Lan, Yangcheng Lu


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.partic.2020.02.002(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Enantioselective Synthesis of a γ-Secretase Modulator via Vinylogous Dynamic Kinetic Resolution

Neil A. Strotman,* Antonio Ramirez, Eric M. Simmons, Omid Soltani, Andrew T. Parsons, Yu Fan, James R. Sawyer, Thorsten Rosner, Jacob M. Janey, Kristy Tran, Jun Li, Thomas E. La Cruz,Charles Pathirana, Alicia T. Ng, and Joerg Deerberg


https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.joc.8b01734(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Formation mechanism of aroma compounds in a glutathione-glucose reaction with fat or oxidized fat

J. Zhao, T. Wang, J. Xie, Q. Xiao, J. Cheng, F. Chen, S. Wang and B. Sun,


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.07.106(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Influence of Process Parameters on the Heterogeneous Nucleation of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients onto Excipients

R. Arribas Bueno, C. Crowley, B. Hodnett, S. Hudson and P. Davern, Org. Process. Res. Dev., 2017, 21, 559-570.


https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.oprd.6b00425(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Synthesis, characterization and performance of bifunctional catalysts for the synthesis of menthol from citronellal

J. Dam, A. Ramanathan, K. Djanashvili, F. Kapteijn and U. Hanefeld, RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 12041-12053.


https://doi.org/10.1039/C6RA25931F(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

One-pot combination of enzyme and Pd nanoparticle catalysis for the synthesis of enantiomerically pure 1,2-amino alcohols

J. Schrittwieser, F. Coccia, S. Kara, B. Grischek, W. Kroutil, N. d'Alessandro and F. Hollmann, Green Chem., 2013, 15, 3318.


https://doi.org/10.1039/C3GC41666F(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Use of food-grade proteases to recover umami protein–peptide mixtures from rice middlings

Lucia Bagnasco, Valeria M.Pappalardo, Andrea Meregaglia, Thammarat Kaewmanee, Daniela Ubiali, Giovanna Speranzabe. M. Elisabetta Cosulich


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2012.11.007(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Investigation of the Solid-State Polymorphic Transformations of Piracetam

Anthony Maher,*,† Colin C. Seaton,† Sarah Hudson,†,‡ Denise M. Croker,† Åke C. Rasmuson,† and Benjamin K. Hodnett†


https://doi.org/10.1021/cg301418c(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Effects of Different Organic Acids on Solubility and Metastable Zone Width of Zinc Lactate

Xiangyang Zhang Gang Qian Xinggui Zhou*


https://doi.org/10.1021/je3006453(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Solid−Liquid Equilibrium of D- and L-Tartaric Acid and Their Importance for Enantioseparation

Xiaofang Wang,† Xiangyang Zhang,† Simon Black,‡ Leping Dang,*,† and Hongyuan Wei†


https://doi.org/10.1021/je300170y(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Mixed-level supersaturated design application to a robustness study on an organic synthesis

Alice Croguennoc, Marc Frédéric, Magalie Claeys-Bruno, Roger Phan-Tan-Luu, Michelle Sergent


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemolab.2012.01.005(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Understanding the p-Toluenesulfonamide/Triphenylphosphine Oxide Crystal Chemistry: A New 1:1 Cocrystal and Ternary Phase Diagram

Denise M. Croker,*,†,§ Michael E. Foreman,†,‡ Bridget N. Hogan,†,§ Nuala M. Maguire,†,‡ Curtis J. Elcoate,†,‡ Benjamin K. Hodnett,†,§ Anita R. Maguire,†,∥ Åke C. Rasmuson,†,§ and Simon E. Lawrence†,‡


https://doi.org/10.1021/cg201300e(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)

Nucleation kinetics of paracetamol–ethanol solutions from metastable zone widths

Niall A.Mitchell, Patrick J.Frawley


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrysgro.2010.05.043(Subscription or purchase maybe required for full access)


The following are a list of available downloads.

Chemical Synthesis Specifications

Chemical Synthesis Brochure



Theravance Logo

start quote My experience with HEL dates since 2005. During these years HEL was the provider of the most important lab equipment with the help of which I developed many different API pharmaceutical processes in the companies l worked for including Merck, Pfizer, and Theravance. The versatility of the automated lab reactors (AutoLAB), the ease of use of and the accuracy of the TSu and Simular systems, as well as the flexibility of the PolyBLOCK made my work much easier and accurate. I would like to mention the great relationship I established with the service engineers and the sales people at HEL. With their help I was able to customize the software and the hardware of the equipment to our specific needs. This readiness to accommodate each customer’s specific needs gives HEL the edge over their competitors and makes them the preferred vendor for pharmaceutical lab equipment. start quote

Theravance Inc – USA


Almac Group

start quote With the polyblock 4 system significant time savings have been achieved compared to using conventional laboratory reactors while at the same time obtaining more information on the process studied. The system has given reproducible process control making it very useful in DOE experiments on a precise recrystallisation where variations due to operational error had to be minimised. Also with the flexibility in reactor size the process was run on smaller scale than previously reducing the demand for a valuable process intermediate. start quote

Almac Group – United Kingdom

Cipla Logo

start quote A versatile time saving tool for QBD & DOE study for all kind of chemistry, crystallization, & even integrated with Calorimetric study. HEL motto “Better Chemistry – Faster” matches with output of instrument giving better control over chemistry & faster result. Thanks for making our work simple. start quote

Cipla – India

Secant Medical

start quote We purchased a PolyBLOCK 4 zone system in November of 2012 and the system was delivered on time and to our specification. The PolyBLOCK has increased throughput by allowing us to easily and efficiently run multiple reactions. Our system has proven to be very reliable and we utilize it on a daily basis. We are very satisfied with our purchase of the PolyBLOCK 4 and the advice and technical support offered by HEL. start quote

Secant Medical – USA

Niper Hydrabad Logo

start quote PolyBlock PB4 is ideal and best suited for Pharmaceutical application in terms of flexibility, upgradability for various applications like pH monitoring and control, solubility and MSZW for crystallisation , high Pressure Hydrogenation , Online Real Time calorimetry, reflux & inerting , PAT tools in future , overhead motor stirring , extended temperature range -80 to 250 ( depends on the chiller being used with the PB4 ). start quote

Dr D.Y. Patil - Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences – India

start quote The PolyBLOCK 4 is simple to use for all chemists and biochemists in our company. It allows us to carry out more reactions at a time, under very good temperature control. We also operate the PolyBlock overnight under pre-programmed procedures, to save a lot of precious time. We use different sizes of glassware in the same block, which allows us to investigate our chemistry at small scale, and then scale-up using the same equipment and pre-programmed procedure. start quote

BioCompatibles UK Ltd – United Kingdom

Aarti Industries Logo

start quote HEL’s PolyBLOCK is a classic invention that allows process development at the fastest rate. We have developed a process for 9 steps carbohydrate project in just 45 days with the help of PolyBLOCK. start quote

Dr Nikhil Jadhav - Aarti Industries