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Chementator briefs [September 2021]

By Gerald Ondrey |

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Automated synthesis

One of the most modern infrastructures for automated process control in chemistry is being built by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT; www.kit.edu) together with BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com). The facility will initially produce new substances in parallel for applications in fields ranging from biology to materials science. In the long term, the facility will also enable a high-throughput process for chemical reactions. KIT is investing about €4 million in this project. The facility is located in the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMFi) and is open to internal and external scientists. As a strategic partner, BASF will run projects in the facility to identify for example new active ingredients for agriculture.

“Such synthesis plants allow chemical reactions to be carried out in a reproducible and standardized manner thanks to automated processes without exposing humans to chemicals,” explains professor Stefan Bräse, director at KIT’s Institute of Biological and Chemical Systems (IBCS). “In addition, automated processes increase the throughput of reactions and thus the efficiency of research projects. This leads to new findings more quickly.”

Initially, the synthesis plant will be geared to projects in organic synthetic chemistry. It will produce small organic molecules on a scale of around 10 mg to several hundred milligrams, for example for chemical intermediates or active pharmaceutical ingredients. In the future, however, the facility will also be able to be used flexibly and carry out reactions on a small scale so that researchers can investigate many reactions simultaneously in a parallelized process.

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