MIT researchers find there may yet be hope for drugmakers to depart the batch-processing era for the heralded continuous-processing age. An ultrasound bath may be able to prevent the channel clogging that can asphyxiate continuous flow reactors.
Solids handling is complicated by the formation of clog-inducing precipitates during chemical reactions. It's a chief reason for the batch processing status quo.
But immersing a flow device in the ultrasound bath prevents clogging by breaking up the byproducts. In an experiment involving amine production that included the bath, the research team achieved a higher flow rate at short reaction times relative to equivalent batch production.
If the technique can work consistently, process speed-up and chemical waste reduction will be close behind.
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