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VID® enable in-line solvent reuse while guaranteeing yield and purity in a low-concentration process

Often, cyclisation reactions, polymerization reactions and enzymatic reactions show substrate inhibition or precipitation of the substrate or of the reactant.  The typical high substrate concentrations in this type of reactions favour intermolecular reactions and lead to polymerisation of the substrate in the reaction medium or to the occurrence of other unwanted side-reactions, thereby seriously decreasing the yield to the desired product and the product purity. 
Examples like intramolecular macro-cyclisation reactions used in the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, the synthesis of cyclic polymers, and enzymatic catalytic reactions typically suffer from low yields due to substrate precipitation and inhibition and declining catalytic activity.

High dilutions are then set in to place to keep the selectivity up towards the desired end product and also to keep the purity of the end product high.

High substrate dilution however involves the use of large amounts of solvent. When batch reactions are employed, frequently used solvent dilution rates for this type of reactions mount to 100-1000 l/mole of substrate to permit keeping substrate concentration sufficiently low. In other words, for the production of small quantities of an end product, often the use of large volumes of solvent and the use of large reactor volumes is required. This entails serious constraints to the industry. These reactions clearly also benefit from high dilution. 

Although efforts including “Simulated high dilution conditions” were developed in the past, the use of still relatively large solvent volumes remains a point of attention. Associates with this is the limited reactor capacity, therefore using large reactor volumes for low productivity and small product yields is still necessary.

VITO solution

VITO developed a diluting substrate feed system enabling the controlled supply of a substrate – solvent mixture having a low substrate concentration, fairly independently of what the substrate concentration is in the feed solution, which may be significantly higher.  Because the high substrate dilution is only applied to the substrate volume which is actually supplied to the reactor, reactions which require high dilution of one or more to the substrates or reactants may be carried out using substantially reduced quantities of solvent, while relatively high reaction yields may be achieved, even in reactors having a relatively small volume.  This permits reducing the volume of solvent used in the process to 0.5 - 25 l/mol of substrate, while product yields achieved are typically as high as those achieved with reactions carried out at high dilution in large reaction volumes of 100-1000 l/mole of substrate.

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