Problem: Whether it’s in a busy university lab or a large industrial laboratory, the issue of productivity has long been the source of sleepless nights for chemists worldwide. To help tackle this issue, GlaxoSmithKline asked, “How can we conduct multiple reactions in parallel and increase productivity?” Conventional methodology requires collecting and assembling a round bottom flask, an oil bath, a glass water condenser—plus a water and power supply—for each separate reaction. While this individual and traditional approach is fine for “one-off” reactions, the quest for increased productivity necessitated an alternative approach, demanding efficiency without compromising on performance. GlaxoSmithKline partnered with instrument manufacturer Radleys to develop their concept and launch the product.
Solution: The Heidolph Radleys Carousel 12 Reaction Station was designed to put the efficiency and productivity back in the hands of the chemist. The Carousel is a personal synthesis station that allows users to conduct up to 12 reactions in the same footprint and length of time as one reaction. In the interest of productivity and ease of use, there is no need for a separate oil bath or water condenser for each reaction. The instrument only requires a single standard stirring hotplate—with a common power source and water supply—to work. Efficient chemistry is at the heart of the original design, and the Carousel can simultaneously heat or cool, stir, and reflux up to 12 samples under an inert atmosphere. Solvent loss from evaporation, for example, is a constant headache in all lab environments. A special “cooling zone” and internal shut off valves minimize leaks due to evaporation and ensure a more accurate result, without compromising productivity. Keeping separate reactions consistent in terms of heat and stirring is a thankless task that further impacts productivity. The Carousel can simultaneously heat up 12 reactions that users can control easily with an accuracy of +/- 1 °C. The Carousel also ensures efficient and accurate stirring in all 12 tubes with a patented design. The instrument’s unique circular design allows for the precise positioning of the tubes around the centrally located magnet of the stirring hotplate, ensuring that all tubes are stirred equally at the same time. The reaction tubes are made from borosilicate glass to maximize heat transfer from the heated aluminium base and cooled reflux head, ensuring that all tubes are heated and cooled at the same rate.
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