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Not Just a Pipe Dream: Using Continuous Flow as a Tool for Sustainable Chemistry

Valued Contributor
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Contributed by Eric G. Moschetta (Center for Reaction Engineering - Process R&D, Abbvie Inc.), Benjamin Rizkin (Process Research & Development, Abbvie, Inc.), and Nick Uhlig (Process Development, Gilead Alberta ULC).

The ACS Green Chemistry Institute Pharmaceutical Roundtable’s flow chemistry team has organized a symposium for this year’s Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference titled “Flow chemistry and continuous processing enabling sustainable chemical development and manufacturing”. This full-day session will include presentations on a broad range of topics with a common focus on process intensification, integrated multi-step processes, efficient use of materials and energy sources, and waste mitigation.

This session will take place all day Thursday, June 17th, and for the first half of Friday, June 18th, with a fantastic lineup of speakers from academia and industry, featuring two invited lectures, eight submitted talks, and a keynote lecture. Interactive live Q&A will follow each 80-minute segment. This session contains talks on a diverse array of subdisciplines and will benefit all chemists and engineers with an interest in continuous processing, especially as a tool for green chemistry.

Invited speaker Luke Rogers (On Demand Pharmaceuticals) will speak about the role of continuous manufacturing and process intensification in transforming the supply chain of the pharmaceutical industry—both to make it more responsive and more sustainable.

Invited speaker Prof. Gyorgy Szekely (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) will speak about his research into organic solvent nanofiltration and its role in mitigating waste in organic synthesis via solvent recycling.

The first day of the session will cover topics such as the continuous flow synthesis of quantum dots (Paul Charpentier, Western University), the use of continuous reactive crystallization for the synthesis of beta-lactam antibiotics (Andreas Bommarius, Georgia Institute of Technology), demonstration of cryogenic flow chemistries at pilot-plant scale (Quirinus Bronxterman, Innosyn BV), the development of a scalable and highly efficient photochemical flow reactor (Hannes Gemoets, Creaflow), the use of flow chemistry to enable greener, more efficient macrocyclization reactions (Ferran Esteve, Jaume I University), and finally the use of flow chemistry to enable highly efficient multi-step C-glycosylations reactions en route to the COVID-19 drug remdesivir (Jason D. Williams, CCFLOW, University of Graz).

Day two will open with a discussion of the use of flow chemistry for developing and scaling green reactions at Merck’s Process Chemistry department (Karthik Narsimhan), followed by a presentation on the use of flow chemistry to enable the recycling of solvents, catalysts, and even whole reaction mixtures (Stephen G. Newman, University of Ottawa).

Finally, a keynote lecture will be delivered by Prof. Timothy Noel (University of Amsterdam) about his research into novel technologies and reaction methodologies enabling organic synthesis in flow—in particular, photo- and electrochemistry—and the use of automated platforms.

We look forward to seeing you there!