Synthesizing target molecules for biological applications such as drug development or modern organic synthesis applications involves researching the feasibility of complex catalyst synthesis pathways. Catalysts accelerate reactions, making processes more efficient or enabling the discovery of new sustainable reaction process routes.
This blog highlights the importance of catalyst screening in enhancing process efficiency and sustainability.
Importance of catalysts and involved challenges
Researchers are always looking for novel, high-performance catalytic systems. Biopharmaceutical and chemical industry professionals often conduct high-throughput catalyst screening to maximise the chances of success. Combinatorial methods are also used when dealing with pools of potential catalysts. These techniques are valuable when dealing with pools of potential catalysts for target applications.
Identifying an optimum prototype catalyst involves the monumental challenge of experimentation with different substrates, chemicals, enzymes, or additives. Furthermore, additional process factors include reaction temperature, pressure, feedstock levels, and airflow.
All factors combined significantly increase the required number of tests for conducting a study. It is time-consuming to perform all these experiments one after the other. The result is poor efficiency and unsustainable operating conditions and processes in laboratories.
Reaction Stations: Facilitating Catalyst Screening
Innovative solutions for catalyst screening such as reaction stations are needed to improve laboratory processes’ efficiency and their scaling for sustainable large-scale commercial manufacturing. Rapidly screening catalysts in laboratories is relatively inexpensive whilst providing crucial information on catalyst behavior that can be used to optimize performance. These insights help in devising targeted pilot-scale studies, thus enhancing the efficiency of industrial processes.
One such industrial example is the use of Asynt’s DrySyn OCTO reaction station by UK-based company, HydRegen. The company’s goal was to provide a sustainable chemical manufacturing solution. Their solution was to harness the power of catalyst screening in a next-generation hydrogenation biocatalyst system. This is a simple but amazingly effective tool for catalyst screening applications. It helps users to expedite results when screening catalysts with multiple reaction parameters.
The catalyst performance during a chemical reaction is sensitive to minor changes in the reaction variables. Therefore, a careful screening of catalysts requires close monitoring of reaction conditions. Benchtop reaction stations offer a controlled operating atmosphere, pressure, temperature, and powerful stirring for catalyst screening. The process is entirely reproducible and accelerates the high-throughput catalyst screening. The Asynt DrySyn OCTO tool excels in this area, allowing scientists to screen as many as eight separate reaction variations simultaneously.
Sometimes, the catalysts to screen might be costly and scarcely available. Microreactors play a crucial role as a cost-effective solution in designing sustainable labs that offer efficient catalyst development. Microreactor catalyst screening systems have small tubular reactors to facilitate representative testing with small amounts of catalysts. DrySyn OCTO reaction stations combine magnetic stirring and finely controlled heating into a miniscule footprint, supporting parallel synthesis applications such as those routine experiments conducted at HydRegen.
Portfolio of Asynt’s solutions
Asynt is a world leader in manufacturing state-of-the-art, cost-effective solutions for catalyst screening. Do you want to make your laboratory processes efficient and sustainable? Then drop us a line today to learn more about the right catalyst screening product for you.
- Yang and Lifeng Cui, Endeavors on developing efficient and sustainable supported metal catalysts for chemical synthesis on solid-liquid interfaces, Green Energy & Environment, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gee.2022.03.004.
- Kevin, Optimizing catalyst performance to support sustainability goals, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) 2021. https://www.aiche.org/sites/default/files/cep/20210123.pdf
- Tholey and E. Heinzle, Methods for biocatalyst screening, Advances in Biochemical Engineering/ Biotechnology, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002. Vol. 74. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/3-540-45736-4_1.pdf