Using fReactor in Flow Chemistry applications

A new paper was recently published outlining the use of fReactor in flow chemistry applications. fReactor provides an array of intuitive and flexible flow reactors able to accommodate single and multiphasic reaction systems in order to support the development of materials and synthesis routes.

Using fReactor in flow chemistry

Image Credit: Asynt

The paper was published by a team of scientists, including Dr. Duncan Browne from the UCL School of Pharmacy, UK.

It details a study whereby a telescoped Z-selective cross-metathesis/Dieckmann cyclization sequence is used to access (Z)-Civetone, incorporating a serial array of continuously stirred tank reactors (fReactor).

Synthesis of Civetone 20 starting from 6via Dieckmann condensation and decarboxylation in the fReactor

Synthesis of Civetone 20 starting from 6via Dieckmann condensation and decarboxylation in the fReactor. Image Credit: Asynt

Civetone is an essential compound in a range of industries. It is a strong-smelling component of civet oil - a pheromone emitted from the African civet - and is highly desirable for the perfume industry. Low concentrations of Civetone are present in many fragrances.

These types of reactions are typically controlled in batch via the dropwise addition of one of the components. This maintains low concentrations of the intermediate, favoring cyclization.

In order to achieve this inflow, it is necessary to design a reactor with multiple injection points along its length. A portion of one component is introduced via a mixer to the flowing stream at each point.

It may be necessary to allow a maturing period for the reaction prior to the next ‘injection’ or ‘drop’ of material, depending on the reaction rate. This can be achieved using a continuous stirred-tank reactor design (CSTR), such as the Asynt fReactor, which can also accommodate active stirring.

Using fReactor in flow chemistry

Image Credit: Asynt

The use of multiple injection points and CSTRs is also recommended if there is a risk of fouling, bridging or precipitation within the reactor. The paper’s authors opted to employ a reactor design consisting of a serial array of CSTRs to minimize any risk of a precipitate forming that could block the reactor.

This was integrated into a semi-continuous process targeting Civetone. This process saw LiHMDS introduced into the serial CSTR reactor fReactor through Input Port 1, where this would meet the first portion of diester in Reactor Tank 1.

This progressed through the reactor cascade to meet five portions of diester prior to being transferred into a batch collection flask.

Thanks to the fReactor, it was possible to achieve the continuous flow total synthesis of (Z)-Civetone in >98% Z-selectivity and 48% yield over three steps from a bio-sourced raw material.

Civetone is an industrially significant compound. It is a particularly strong-smelling component of civet oil, a pheromone emitted from the African civet and highly desirable for the perfume industry, present in many fragrances albeit in extremely low concentrations.

Civetone is an industrially significant compound. It is a particularly strong-smelling component of civet oil, a pheromone emitted from the African civet and highly desirable for the perfume industry, present in many fragrances albeit in extremely low concentrations. Image Credit: Asynt

fReactor entry level flow chemistry reactor

Video Credit: Asynt

About Asynt

Asynt was formed in July 2003 with the aim to develop, supply and support new, sustainable and novel products central to the laboratory.

Since inception, they have developed the DrySyn range (a clean, safe alternative to oil baths and heating mantles) both reducing costs in purchasing / disposal of oil and a 35% reduction in energy consumption.

They also take pride in reducing laboratory water consumption using their air cooled CondenSyn units and highly effective water circulators.

The current team has over 70 years of experience in the scientific sector and work hard to help their customers find the best possible solutions for their requirements.

Key product lines available include Asynt ReactoMate Controlled Lab Reactors, the DrySyn heating and cooling blocks, and tools from Grant, IKA, Julabo, Huber, Porvair, Telstar and Vacuubrand amongst others. With a broad range of scientific equipment and consumables ranging from bench top laboratory scale to pilot plant and beyond both in the chemical and biological sectors.

Asynt’s Managing Director, Martyn Fordham, spent almost twenty years dealing with the requirements of research chemists (at the outset just custom glassblowing) before forming Asynt. For Martyn, having the right staff who are both knowledgeable and dedicated to customer support has been the key to Asynt’s successful growth.


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Last updated: Apr 21, 2022 at 1:04 PM

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