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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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« How Do These Things Get Published? | Main | Buckyballs Prolong Life? Really? »

April 18, 2012

Build Your Own Reactive Reactors

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Posted by Derek

I'd be interested in hearing people's thoughts on this technology, from the Cronin group at the University of Glasgow. (Here's a press release, and a piece from Chemistry World if you can't get in to Nature Chemistry).

They're adapting 3-D printing technology to make small reaction vessels out of silicone polymer. The design of these can be changed to directly alter the mixing, timing, and stoichiometry of reactions, and they've also gone as far as incorporating palladium catalyst into the walls of the newly formed reactors, making them active for hydrogenation reactions.

I can see this eventually being useful for multistep flow chemistry, a micro-scale analog of the sorts of systems that Steve Ley's group has published on. Perhaps an array of identical vessels could be used in parallel for scale-up if the design is taking advantage of the small size of the chambers (again, as is done in industrial flow applications). The speed with which new doped polymeric materials could be prototyped seems to be a real advantage as well, which should allow experimentation with immobilized reagents and catalysts which would be incompatible with each other in solution. Other ideas?

Comments (12) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Chemical News


COMMENTS

1. Carl Bussjaeger on April 18, 2012 1:28 PM writes...

"Build Your Own Reactive Reactors"

Is a reactor that won't react a reactor?

Other than that, the tech does sound interesting.

Permalink to Comment

2. MTK on April 18, 2012 1:33 PM writes...

3D printing in general may be one of the coolest things around.

Permalink to Comment

3. gippgig on April 18, 2012 1:42 PM writes...

For unbelievably cheap homebrew replicators see 3dreplicators.com/ & reprap.org/wiki/RepRap.

Permalink to Comment

4. Paul on April 18, 2012 3:35 PM writes...

Let's build a Juno Reactor. High energy protons!

Permalink to Comment

5. metaphysician on April 18, 2012 4:09 PM writes...

#1-

Actually, I think you'd want a non-reactive reactor. After all, you want the stuff you put into the reactor to react with each other, not with the reactor itself. ;)

Permalink to Comment

6. Canageek on April 18, 2012 10:10 PM writes...

I kinda see the updside to custom printing your 'glassware' for a reaction. However, you'd have to be careful about leaching stuff into the reaction, imperfections, leaks etc.

Also, I don't get the point about making stuff you couldn't via glassblowing. What couldn't you make via glassblowing for example?

Permalink to Comment

7. processchemist on April 19, 2012 2:13 AM writes...

Cool idea, all the limitations are about material compatibility: silicone has poor compatibility with many solvents, acids, reactants. I guess that 3D printing with teflon is not so cheap, but maybe the technolgy can be extended to other polymers so one can choose on the basis of chemical compatibility (the history of glass in the chamical labs has his reasons, the same can be said about the shift from rubber stoppers to ground glass joints ).

Permalink to Comment

8. SigillumHermetis on April 19, 2012 5:53 AM writes...

This technology seems to me the story of the yocto-reactor (http://www.vipergen.com/p.php?s=article&id=22) with a chemical catalysis twist.
I definitely think, that both of these are very interesting concepts indeed.
In fact, miniaturization to a flow cell containing several miniature chemical reaction chambers is something I'd be keen looking on.

Permalink to Comment

9. SigillumHermetis on April 19, 2012 5:54 AM writes...

This technology seems to me the story of the yocto-reactor (http://www.vipergen.com/p.php?s=article&id=22) with a chemical catalysis twist.
I definitely think, that both of these are very interesting concepts indeed.
In fact, miniaturization to a flow cell containing several miniature chemical reaction chambers is something I'd be keen looking on.

Permalink to Comment

10. SigillumHermetis on April 19, 2012 5:54 AM writes...

This technology seems to me the story of the yocto-reactor (http://www.vipergen.com/p.php?s=article&id=22) with a chemical catalysis twist.
I definitely think, that both of these are very interesting concepts indeed.
In fact, miniaturization to a flow cell containing several miniature chemical reaction chambers is something I'd be keen looking on.

Permalink to Comment

11. ir2 on April 19, 2012 8:36 AM writes...

how do these things get published???

Permalink to Comment

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