CEM sets up manufacturing-scale microwave division

By Phil Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chemical reaction

CEM Corp has announced the formation of a division within the
company that will be focused on developing systems for scaling up
reactions performed using microwave synthesis.

The Chemical Synthesis Scale-up Division will represent an investment of at least $10 million over the next five years for the company and will concentrate on developing systems to produce multi-kilogramme to manufacturing scale quantities of synthesised materials.

Microwave energy has been growing in popularity for driving chemical reactions in laboratories, because in contrast to traditional heat transfer techniques, it passes freely through a reactor vessel walls and is introduced rapidly and uniformly to the entire reaction mixture.

This means that reactions that might have to for several hours in a conventional oil bath may be completed in as little as five minutes using microwave stimulation. Using microwaves, organic chemists can work faster, generating higher yields with increased product purity, and scale experiments up reliably from milligrammes to much larger quantities without the need to alter reaction parameters.

It is this scale-up element that the new CEM division will focus on, according to Michael Collins, the company's chief executive.

"Now that small scale microwave synthesis has become an accepted method, we are ready to take it to the next level,"​ he said. "The formation of this new division will enable CEM to offer a complete microwave synthesis solution from discovery phase to full production scale."

CEM's new division will have an in-house team of chemists, chemical engineers, and design engineers to develop the line of scale-up systems.

In addition, the company plans to pursue strategic collaborations with major companies that utilise large-scale chemical synthesis, ensuring well-designed product offerings.

"CEM's development of microwave synthesis systems for scale-up began with Voyager three years ago and is evolving into an entire family of scale-up solutions,"​ said Collins. Introduced last year, the Voyager includes a 10-80ml reaction vessel. The company already has an R&D pipeline of products that it will begin offering over the next 12 months, he added, and this effort will culminate in production scale equipment within the next five years.

The other major player in the microwave synthesis sector, Sweden's Biotage, is also working on the development of products that will allow microwave synthesis to be scaled up from the laboratory setting.

Earlier this year the company introduced its batch format microwave synthesizer, the Advancer, at the American Chemical Society conference. The new product has a 350ml reaction vessel and is designed to produce sufficient quantities of product for preclinical testing..

Related news

Show more

Related products

Efficient Freezing & Storage of Biopharmaceuticals

Efficient Freezing & Storage of Biopharmaceuticals

Content provided by Single Use Support | 06-Nov-2023 | White Paper

Various options exist for freezing biopharmaceutical bulk material, but selecting the most effective and efficient approach for each cold chain can be...

Follow us


View more