Biotage introduces automation solution for microwave chemistry

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chemical reaction

Biotage has used the American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring 2008
meeting to introduce its new batch microwave synthesiser that
allows the full automation of batch sequencing resulting in time
savings for users.

Unlike traditional microwave batch and flow reactors, the Advancer Kilobatch distinguishes itself with its capabilities to process both heterogeneous and homogenous reaction mixtures in automated batch-sequencing mode. The Advancer Kilobatch is designed to provide up to 12 hours unattended processing of homogenous reaction mixtures delivering kilogram quantities of the target compound. In addition, the system will accommodate heterogeneous reactions by processing four sequential cycles (250 mL) to yield a 1 L batch. Through simple solid loading replenishment, kilogram quantities of complex heterogeneous reactions are easily achieved. Chemists are now familiar with the advantages of working with microwave reactor technology in the laboratory. The technology allows the testing of different reactions to find the ideal compound quicker than using conventional heating methods. But moving from laboratory-scale work, where small quantities of compounds (typically milligrammes) are produced, production quantities (kilogrammes and more) has proved difficult to achieve using microwave technology. Biotage's Advancer Kilobatch may be the first of a number of machines, which can make this process easier. Currently it remains the only system for kilogram scale-up of all microwave reactions. Chemistry can be directly scaled up from the Initiator platform using exactly the same reaction conditions. According to Chemistry World, the microwave chemistry equipment market was estimated to be $89m in 2003. Although the market size is relatively small at present, in view of current growth trends, it is expected to reach $145.8m by 2008. The growth is expected to be driven by advancement in equipment technology and growing awareness of technology, its success, and the advantages. The growth will be driven by the key players of this market, which include CEM Corporation, Biotage AB and Milestone s.r.l, with CEM Corporation currently holding the largest market share. Microwave chemistry involves the application of microwave radiation to chemical reactants. For organic chemists that already use microwave reactors in the laboratory, the benefits of the technology are now well-proven. Heating a chemical reactor by microwave radiation has the advantages of being faster, cleaner and more efficient than conventional heating methods and the entire volume of the reactor can be heated simultaneously and uniformly. Chemists can therefore achieve cleaner, more efficient chemical reactions with higher yields. In many processes, microwave heating has been found to be up to 50 per cent more efficient than conventional heating methods. More details of the ACS' Spring 2008 National Meeting & Exposition, held in New Orleans can be found here​.

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