Category Archives: RC1

Process Analytical Technology (PAT) & Laboratory Automation Developments in the Pharmaceutical & Chemical Industries

Dominique Hebrault will present the online seminar New Developments in the Use of PAT and Laboratory Automation from the Pharmaceutical and Chemical Industries on September 15.  Specific case studies that Dominique will discuss include: Continue reading

2 Ways To Screen Chemicals for Reactivity Hazards

This guest post is written by Dr. Sanjeev Saraf, Senior Associate in Exponent’s Engineering Management Consulting practice. Dr. Saraf’s primary focus is on evaluating processes/products for increased safety, reliability, and economic feasibility. You can read more from the author on his process safety and risk management blog.

The reactivity hazard of a substance is normally assessed by performing thermal analysis. A small amount of the sample is heated over a range of temperature (usually within 30°C – 400°C), and temperature, pressure, and time data are recorded. This information is then used for alarm settings, relief  sizing, and process modeling. Continue reading

How To Optimize A Highly Reactive Chemistry

Highly Reactive Chemistry

Highly Reactive Chemistry

Highly reactive chemistries are used in the syntheses of drug molecules, special polymer products, herbicides and other agriculture products, high energy materials, and even special materials like nano-particles and chemo-sensors.

Examples of highly reactive chemistries include:

  • Azide chemistry
  • Diazo chemistry
  • Grignard chemistry
  • Lithium chemistry
  • Phosgene chemistry

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How Process Optimization Cut High Chemical Production Costs

Due to the interest on the recent post on how a major dye and chemical company improved process safety and shortened downtime through process modification, this post will discuss how a major specialty chemicals manufacturer used process optimization to:

  • Cut solvent consumption by 50%
  • Decrease production costs by 10%
  • Reduce batch time from 10 hours to 4 hours

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How Hexion Specialty Chemicals Reduced R&D Expenses

The Challenge: Reaction Calorimetry Under Difficult Conditions
“Unfortunately, our highly exotherm reactions are not always easy to handle”, says Günter Reinsch, head of process optimization and safety at Hexion™ Specialty Chemicals. Continue reading

How Process Modification Improves Safety and Shortens Downtime

The Challenge
A running production from a major dye and chemical company proved to be problematic. Solvent losses during work-up resulted not only in increased costs, but also presented an environmental concern. Continue reading

Safe Scale-up of a Grignard Reaction – LinkedIn OPRD Group

Recently, I saw a conversation on the LinkedIn Organic Process Research & Development (OPRD) Group that began with the subject:  “Precaution during scale-up of a Grignard reaction?”.  This discussion regarding the safety of Grignard reactions on scale made me realize how useful old chemical reactions can be, although not necessarily well-understood or controlled. Continue reading

Advanced Energetic Materials: Improving Reaction Safety and Particle Size Distributions

In 1969, the USA Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy held a hearing at the head of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and was being questioned on why build a new $250 million particle collider.  What did a particle collider have to do with the security of the country?  Physicist Robert Wilson replied “It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to make it worth defending.” 1

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Early Phase Implementation of Process Analytical Technology (PAT) Tools in Chemical Development

In the pharmaceutical industry, the pressure to decrease development times for new chemical entities is common.  During the recent 17th International Process Development Conference, Terry Connelly of Pfizer discussed this particular challenge during the presentation “Examples of Early Phase Implementation of Process Analytical Technology (PAT) Tools:  Meeting Short Term Goals While Setting the Stage for Long-Term Process Understanding and Control”.
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How To Overcome Process Scale-Up Challenges Using Process Analytical Technology (PAT)

Process Analytical Technology for Scale-up

Process Analytical Technology

During Part I of his two part The Role of Process Analytical Technology (PAT) in Green Chemistry and Green Engineering online seminar series, Dominique Hebrault discussed scale-up challenges faced today by chemists and engineers.  Too often, offline sampling methods – mostly chromatographic methods such as High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) or Gas Chromatography (GC) – are used to monitor processes which fail to resolve common issues like reaction monitoring, poor mass balance, delayed initiation/reaction stalled, and loss of yield/by-products.  From a reaction engineering standpoint, obtaining heat mass balance information and preliminary kinetic data can be difficult using traditional offline methods during process scale-up.  Forming the final solid can be challenging using traditional offline methods, including filtration/drying a bottleneck, excessive washing, polymorph inconsistency, and batch to batch variability can be difficult.
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