A specialized laboratory for Flow Chemistry and process intensification is established in the School of Chemistry at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) under the Institute of Eminence (IoE) program. Flow chemistry and continuous manufacturing has many advantages over traditional batch processes practiced in chemistry labs and chemical industry for over a century.
The advantages of Flow Chemistry are:
1. Faster reaction times – minutes to an hour instead of several hours and up to a day
2. Cheaper – less use of solvents and chemical reagents
3. Flexible production – scale up is easier and reproducible
4. Higher level of quality assurance – product purity and selectivity are higher
5. Minimal waste generation – recyclable solvents and catalysts
6. Online monitoring of reaction stages – with handheld spectrometers
7. Green and sustainable chemistry – to align with sustainable development goals
Synthesis and manufacturing through flow process and continuous reactions is rapidly becoming the industry norm for complex drug molecules, fine chemicals, and agrochemicals. Hazardous chemical transformations such as those with hydrogen gas, ozone, diazomethane, carbon monoxide, etc. can be carried out safely and with economical use of catalysts and solvents. It is possible to carry out end-to-end multi step synthesis of drug molecules including crystallization of the final solid formulation in a serial flow reactor assembly.
The laboratory is set up under the guidance of Prof. Ashwini Kumar Nangia, Dean, School of Chemistry and Prof. Perali Ramu Sridhar, a synthetic carbohydrate chemist, along with their PhD students and postdocs.
“We plan to add new types of reactions such as photo and electro-chemistry in flow, which will make it possible to carry out reagent free chemical transformations”, said Prof. Nangia. Prof. B J Rao, Vice Chancellor said, “UoH feels proud of having a Flow Chemistry unit in the Chemistry School. This facility gives us an opportunity to train the students and researchers in this field with ease. Flow chemistry offers exquisite tweaking of reaction conditions that facilitate exploration of a rich plethora of reaction conditions landscape. Simultaneous online product analyses offer a good learning experience of unforeseen reaction trajectories. I applaud the School of Chemistry and its leadership for introducing this new initiative in their programmes. I hope and wish that this facility will also augment the relevant teaching courses by giving hands-on experience to the learners of the courses.”
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