Despite the multistep processes and ungainly equipment required to meet global demand for drugs, batch manufacturing has become the firmly settled status quo in pharma.
This is due, in no small part, to a lack of sustainability among classical stirred tank reactors.
In contrast, continuous flow (CF) reactors differ in the performance of chemical reactions within pipes or tubes. With an increased surface-area-to-volume ratio they offer improved heat-transfer and reaction mixing efficiency. These key differences lead to a variety of important advantages such as improved safety, reaction selectivity and yield but – pivotally – they reduce environmental impact.
While the polymer and petrochemical industries have efficiently used continuous technologies for many years, surprisingly, pharma has been relatively slow in the uptake of continuous methods. Recently, however, the winds of change have been stirring.
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