Microstructured Reactors for Rapid Process Development and Scale-Up - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Microstructured Reactors for Rapid Process Development and Scale-Up
The authors discuss a continuous-flow reactor that avoids parallel channels and enables economic plant setup. This article is part of a special issue on API Development, Formulation, Synthesis and Manufacturing.

Pharmaceutical Technology
pp. s32-s36


After more than a decade of microstructured devices in chemical production, the implementation of microreactors is essentially understood. The interaction of chemistry, reaction kinetics, involved phases, and transport phenomena plays the crucial role in appropriate reactor and plant design. It is important to determine the limiting steps in time scales and heat management. It is possible to run continuous processes in microstructured devices at the laboratory scale, and these processes can be scaled up to pilot and production scale with low risk. This multiscale production potential from grams to tons allows a high flexibility and offers short time-to-decision in a project.

The Lonza MicroReactor technology represents a consistent and comprehensive scale-up approach and has benefits for the process research and development and manufacturing departments of fine-chemical and pharmaceutical companies. The technology illuminates a clear path from laboratory chemistries to large-scale manufacturing processes, and it completely avoids the parallelization strategies that may result in technical problems. This reactor platform supports rapid process development and production under continuous-flow conditions using microstructured elements. The developed reactor technology is modular, robust, multipurpose, and scalable and has already been tested for several products and processed tons of material during a campaign of a few weeks.

Norbert Kockmann is a senior scientist, Michael Gottsponer is a laboratory chemist, Markus Eyholzer is a laboratory technician, and Dominique M. Roberge* is responsible for business development, all at Lonza, CH-3930 Visp, Switzerland, tel. +41 0 27 948 50 27, fax +41 0 27 947 50 27,

*To whom all correspondence should be addressed.


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8. N. Kockmann et al., Chemistry 14 (25), 7470–7477 (2008).

9. D.M. Roberge et al., Chem. Eng. Technol. 28 (3), 318–323 (2005)

10. N. Kockmann and D.M. Roberge, Chem. Eng. Technol. 32 (11), 1682–1694 (2009).


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