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- Publication3D printing of PEEK reactors for flow chemistry and continuous chemical processingChemically resistant parts for flow chemistry, with integrated mixing elements have been produced using the 3D printing process of fused filament fabrication, from poly(etheretherketone). Poly(etheretherketone) has greater chemical resistance than common fused filament fabrication materials such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polypropylene, or even high-performance plastics like poly(etherimide), in addition to having superior thermal resistance and excellent mechanical strength. Printed reactors were demonstrated to be suitable for liquid–liquid extraction and flow chemistry and to be capable of withstanding pressures of at least 30 bar allowing superheated solvents to be used. Burst tests in simple geometries of 20 minute duration have indicated that increased operating pressures of up to 60 bar could be accommodated in future reactor designs. The ability to use fused filament fabrication for these reactors allows highly customisable, cost effective flow reactors and equipment to be fabricated on relatively inexpensive benchtop scale printers. X-ray microcomputed tomography was utilised to non-invasively image and verify the internal structure of the prints to ensure fidelity in reactor fabrication. This non-invasive method of equipment validation shows potential in helping to demonstrate regulatory compliance for bespoke additively manufactured components, for example in continuous pharmaceutical manufacturing where the methods and printer used in this work should be sufficient to produce, (continuous) manufacturing scale equipment.
Scopus© Citations 37 563
- PublicationConcentric Annular Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation for Flow Chemistry and Continuous ProcessingA low-cost, modular, robust, and easily customisable continuous liquid-liquid phase separator has been developed that uses a tubular membrane and annular channels to allow high fluidic throughputs while maintaining rapid, surface wetting dominated, phase separation. The system is constructed from standard fluidic tube fittings and allows leak tight connections to be made without the need for adhesives, or O-rings. The units tested in this work have been shown to operate at flow rates of 0.1 – 300 mL/min, with equivalent residence times from 80 to 4 seconds, demonstrating the simplicity of scale-up with these units. Further scale-up to litre per minute scales of operation for single units and tens of litres/minute through limited numbering up should allow these low cost concentric annular tubular membrane separators to be used at continuous production scales for pharmaceutical applications for many solvent systems. In principle this approach may be sufficiently scalable to be utilized in-line, in batch pharmaceutical manufacturing also, through further scale-up and numbering up of units. Several solvent systems with varying interfacial tensions have been investigated, and the critical process parameters affecting successful separation have been identified. An additively manufactured diaphragm based back pressure regulator was also developed and printed in PEEK, allowing highly accurate, adjustable, and chemically compatible pressure control to be accessed at low cost.
263Scopus© Citations 3