Scale-up Pressure Reactions - METTLER TOLEDO

Scale-up Pressure Reactions

Characterize, Optimize and Scale-up Pressure Chemistry

There is an increasing demand to run reactions at elevated pressures. Due to the nature of pressure chemistry, the reaction mass typically consists of multiple phases, e.g. liquid/gas or even liquid/solid/gas. As a result, the reaction is not only controlled by the usual parameters, such as temperature of the reaction mass or the concentration of the reactants, but also by parameters like gas feed, catalyst type, catalyst concentration, mixing and subsequently mass transfer. In fact, pressure chemistry is more challenging and requires robust equipment as well as control and data acquisition software.

The presentation - Characterize, Optimize and Scale-up Pressure Reactions - focuses on the chemistry and equipment challenges faced with pressure reactions. There are many critical design factors in characterizing and optimizing pressure reactions and these can be determined through the use of today’s available reactor and in situ analytical technologies.

Applications presented include:

  • Mass transfer limitations in a hydrogenation of a substituted 2-cyclohexene-1-one
  • Kinetics study of a nitrobenzene hydrogenation

The combined use of pressure reactor technology and in situ analytics (FTIR) to provide real time, valuable mechanistic information that prevents accumulation of an unstable and explosive reactive intermediate is also demonstrated.

Brian Wittkamp received his Bachelor’s degree in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Minnesota and Ph.D. in Spectroscopy from the University of North Dakota. Dr. Wittkamp's graduate studies focused on the implementation of Raman spectroscopy as an in situ monitoring tool for groundwater contaminants.  Brian has worked as a technical specialist for instrumentation companies focused on NIR and FTIR for the high value chemical and petrochemical industries. Now working for METTLER TOLEDO, Brian is responsible for the worldwide market development of FTIR products in the high value chemical industries, including pressure reactions. Brian has been an invited speaker to local and international conferences, as well as published a number of papers in the environmental and continuous flow chemistry application segments.