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Reference Number EP/L012278/1
Title Manufacturing in Flow: Controlled Multiphase Reactions on Demand (CoMRaDe)
Status Completed
Energy Categories ENERGY EFFICIENCY(Industry) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr K Hellgardt
No email address given
Chemical Engineering
Imperial College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 April 2014
End Date 30 September 2017
Duration 42 months
Total Grant Value £667,090
Industrial Sectors Chemicals; Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Region London
Programme Manufacturing: Engineering, NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr K Hellgardt , Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Dr KK Hii , Chemistry, Imperial College London (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Sulzer Chemtech Ltd, Switzerland (0.000%)
Project Contact , Jorin Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Micropore Technologies Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract In the production of pharmaceutical and fine chemicals, most of the reactions are conducted 'homogeneously' in one phase, i.e. a suitable solvent is used to dissolved all of the starting material, reagent and catalyst. At the end of the reaction, extra operations (known as 'work up') are required to separate the product from byproducts and any remaining starting materials. Work up/separation procedures can be complicated and time-consuming, and can constitute 40-70% of the costs of chemical processes. It also consumes extra resources (energy, material, additional solvent), which is detrimental to the environment.One way of overcoming the separation issue is to conduct multiphase reactions, where the starting material and the reagent are dissolved in immiscible solvents (such as oil and water). After the reaction, the products remain physically separated from the reagent and byproducts, which simplifies the workup procedure. However, there are several fundamental issues that need to be addresse; namely, how fast reactions can occur at the interface, and how to control it precisely to afford reproducible and predictable outcomes (which is very important for its eventual application in industry).The proposed programme will develop a new type of continuous manufacturing process for multiphase oxidations. First, it will use electrochemistry to generate inorganic oxidants in water from non-hazardous inorganic salts and electricity. The solution of oxidant will be mixed with reactants in an immiscible solvent, using a specially designed reactor that generates an emulsion from the two immiscible fluids. After the reaction, the two different phases then separate out naturally, thus simplifying the workup procedure. The research programme will focus on the generation of different oxidants and their intrinsic reactivity. We will also develop novel emulsion forming systems to handle liquid/liquid reactive flows. The rates of the various steps in the process will be deteremined, to produce a predictive model that we can be used to construct a mini-plant for demonstration purposes
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/04/14