Alfa hopes to make industrial chemistry an ART

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chemical reaction

Sweden’s Alfa Laval says ART PR49, its combined chemical reactor and heat transfer plate, improves the efficiency of chemical production and helps reduce energy costs.

Alfa, which focuses on industrial solutions for centrifugation, heat transfer and fluid handling, said that competitive and environmental pressure has forced pharmaceutical manufacturers to look for safer production methods that are safer, cleaner and greener.

The ARTPR49 unit, which is intended for industrial processing applications, is the latest generation of Alfa’s ART plate reactor series and can, the firm claims, reduce energy consumption by 50 to 70 per cent.

ARTPR49 uses plates to integrate the mixing channel with heat transfer surfaces, creating a modular, continuous reaction system.

The unit is designed to speed-up the chemical reactions used to produce pharmaceutical compounds by maintaining optimal conditions.

The firm explained that: “Traditionally you create a reaction by adding one substance to another [which] sometimes generates intense and damaging heat. To minimize the negative impact the reacting substance is normally either diluted or added over a longer time period​.

The new plate reactor reduces the time needed and the reaction can be performed with higher concentrations. The continuous flow of reactants creates optimal reaction conditions and the plate technology removes any excess heat​.”

Svante Karlsson, head of process technology at the Lund headquartered firm said that the technology, which was showcased at last month’s Achema conference, has attracted considerable pharmaceutical industry interest.

He explained that: “Two major pharmaceutical companies have already bought the new technology​,” and added that the firm is in talks with “the majority of the rest​” of the Big Pharma sector.

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