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Developing knowledge, gaining greater insight, expanding networks; this is what the 7th Symposium on Continuous Flow Reactor Technology for Industrial Applications held in Delft from 29 September to 1 October was all about. The DemoBench of TNO was of special interest at the symposium.
Participants in this symposium on flow chemistry came from across the world representing all manner of business and institutions such as BASF Nederland B.V., Novartis Pharma from Switzerland, Ajinomoto from Japan (specializing in flavour enhancers), and the University of Washington.
On the first day of the symposium, TNO presented demonstrations at its site in Delft about the systems of five different organizations. ‘We demonstrated the DemoBench,’ says Robert Nijhuis. ‘With the DemoBench we can give a definite answer to companies within as little as one month about whether it is possible to conduct their process through flow chemistry rather than batch processes. This can take place on site with the client where we can test different reactors. In the months ahead we will be conducting follow-up meetings with companies who are considering flow chemistry for their production processes. We have already made non-disclosure agreements regarding this.
In addition to presenting five demonstration sessions, TNO also gave a lecture about its knowledge and expertise in flow chemistry. Nijhuis explains: ‘In the 'speciality’ and fine chemicals industry, companies deliberately choose for batch processing because of security and speed. The DemoBench delivers a quick and decisive answer here. In batch processing, part of the production is lost after each step in the process. This makes it worthwhile to run a continuous process. Flow chemistry enables us to intensify and improve the control over chemical processes. It results in reduced waste and a larger production under safer conditions. The lecture expounded on the wide-ranging chemical reactions that we have successfully demonstrated over the last few years.
TNO also arranged several follow-up meeting during the symposium. One such meeting is with a pharmaceutical company. The researchers were also asked to share their ideas and knowledge for a flow chemistry installation. ‘I invite other interested companies to contact us. The DemoBench allows us to quickly and efficiently assess whether a process is suitable for flow chemistry.’
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