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Chemistry on demand on your desktop

Speaker: Klavs F. Jensen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Series: Wilhelm Lectures
Location: Friend Center Convocation Room
Date/Time: Monday, October 15, 2012, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Miniaturized continuous flow systems promise to transform classical batch wise laboratory procedures into compact integrated systems providing new understanding of fundamental chemical processes as well as rapid, continuous discovery and development of new products with less use of resources and waste generation. Flow systems combine mini or microfluidic channels, chemical-synthesis-on-a chip, and continuous separation based on surface tension effects to enable multiple synthesis and separation steps. Synthesis applications are enhanced by automated optimization as well as mechanistic and kinetic information gained from integrating reaction components with sensors, actuators, and automated fluid handling. Moreover, flow systems allow experiments on well-defined samples at conditions not easily accessed by conventional means, such as reaction at high pressure and temperatures. The characteristics and capabilities of flow systems are demonstrated with cases studies drawn from multistep chemical synthesis relevant to fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Emphasis is placed on applications that are enabled by flow systems and are difficult to perform by conventional techniques. Miniaturized flow systems also enable the creation of small chemical plants for small scale chemical production. The potential of this technology for small scale pharmaceutical production is discussed along with other potential applications.