2023 Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Outstanding Early-Career Award Winner: Dr Nicholas J. Warren

We are thrilled to share the news that Dr Nicholas J. Warren (University of Leeds, UK) has been announced the winner of the RSC 2023 Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Outstanding Early-Career Paper Award.

This is in recognition of his leadership of the paper, ‘Continuous synthesis of block copolymer nanoparticles via telescoped RAFT solution and dispersion polymerisation in a miniature CSTR cascade‘, DOI: 10.1039/D2RE00475E

Continuous synthesis of block copolymer nanoparticles via telescoped RAFT solution and dispersion polymerisation in a miniature CSTR cascade

The paper was co-written by Peter M. Pittaway (PhD student),

Prof. Nikil Kapur explained:

“This work was a collaboration to accelerate discovery and development of next generation polymers. We do this through combining advanced polymer chemistries with “enabling technologies” which includes the design of novel reactors. These allow us to enhance precision, reproducibility and access conditions not possible with traditional techniques.

Prof. Nikil Kapur - University of Leeds

In this paper, we intended to transfer a polymer-particle forming polymerisation process into a continuous reactor platform. However, the process itself involves a move from a solution to a dispersion of nanoparticles and requires good, physical mixing throughout. Hence the fReactors provided an ideal opportunity to do this in a continuous reactor.

We also realised that the flow characteristics within the fReactors  had the potential to influence the polymer product properties, which are characterised by a statistical distribution of sizes and molecular weights.

The use of varying numbers of fReactors under a range of conditions enabled the residence time distribution to be manipulated, which then allowed control over the product size and molecular weight distribution. “

Prof Nicholas J Warren

Winner of this esteemed award from the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Reaction Chemistry & Engineering category, Dr Nicholas J. Warren, who is Associate Professor within the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, details his particular areas of expertise as: Polymer synthesis; polymer self-assembly; flow Chemistry; Polymerization-induced self-assembly; online monitoring; flow NMR; SAXS.

You can find out more about Nicholas via the University of Leeds website here: https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/chemical-engineering/staff/866/dr-nicholas-j-warren

University of Leeds R&D and fReactor

Prof. Nik Kapur, Prof. John Blacker and the engineers at the University of Leeds have worked closely with Asynt to develop their initial design for fReactor, transforming it into the platform which is available all over the world today.

Inspired by the desire to make Flow Chemistry accessible to all, the flexible CSTR (continuous stirred tank reactor) setup enables users to connect up to 5 modules on a single hotplate.

The team have also built and maintain a dedicated info-site which is all about the chemistry; you’ll find helpful how-to guides, examples of chemistry carried out using fReactor, published papers, and a wealth of other information.
Visit https://www.fReactor.com.

freactor.comFurther reading

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