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Klavs F. Jensen

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Jensen_Bild_webKlavs F. Jensen is Warren K. Lewis Professor in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests revolve around reaction and separation techniques for on-demand multistep synthesis, catalysis, chemical kinetics and transport phenomena methods for automated synthesis, as well as micro-systems biological discovery. He is a member of the US National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. Jensen presents examples of Process Intensification i.e. on-demand synthesis of common pharmaceuticals in a plug-and-play, manually reconfigurable, refrigerator-sized manufacturing platform of integrated unit-operations. Microfabrication, precision machining and 3D printing are used to realize the miniaturized process equipment.


Automation and Process Intensification of Chemical Processes

Abstract

Chemical synthesis in microreactors has matured over the two past decades from simple demonstration examples to applications in pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. Advantages of controlled mixing, enhanced heat and mass transfer, expanded reaction conditions, and safety have driven adoption of continuous flow techniques and the related process intensification. The field has moved beyond single transformations to continuous multistep synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients by incorporating in-line workup techniques. Moreover, integration of on-line measurements of reactant flows, reactor temperature, and outlet concentrations with feedback control systems has enabled automated optimization of reaction yields as well as determining kinetic information.

Automated optimization of chemical reactions in microliter-scale droplets facilitates optimization across continuous variables (e.g., temperature, concentration, residence time) as well as discrete variables (e.g., catalyst species, base, and solvents) without requiring system depressurization or reconfiguration. Moreover, kinetic models can be extracted for subsequent scaling to process conditions. Manually and robotically configurable chemical synthesis platform demonstrates automated, optimized multiple step continuous synthesis of molecular targets. Process intensification is exemplified by on-demand synthesis of common pharmaceuticals, e.g., ciprofloxacin, in a plug-and-play, manually reconfigurable, refrigerator-sized manufacturing platform of integrated unit operations. Microfabrication, precision machining and 3D printing are used to realize the miniaturized process equipment described throughout the presentation.