Chemical reactors are ubiquitous among numerous industries ranging from food and life sciences to pharmaceutical, environmental, energy and fuel industries, among several others. These apparatuses enable highly controlled mixing of reagents with heat, pressure, cooling or ultraviolet light to produce chemical compounds, and can utilize all states of matter in the process. There is a wide range of reactor types and sizes to suit applications of every scale. Bench-scale systems are ideal for research and testing of small volumes, while other processes may require large, kilo scale reactors for research and production.
Regardless of the application, a high-quality reactor is an essential laboratory tool. One company offering such a product is Ace Glass. Ace Glass offers numerous high-quality reaction systems ranging in size, as well as custom options. With over 80 years of experience in the industry, Ace Glass offers quality products and expertise to help equip your laboratory for success.
Versatility for a wide range of applications
Chemical reactors contain reagents and products, which are generally liquids or gases, and facilitate reactions. They are designed to maintain a tightly controlled environment for chemical reactions to occur. Versatile reactor systems are suitable for numerous applications, ranging from compound synthesis for pharmaceuticals or cosmetics, to fuel production and waste treatment. Reactors are also an essential tool for the food science industry, as they can be used to produce a variety of additives to enhance flavor, aroma, texture and stability of food products.
Individual chemical reactions require controlled parameters, such as temperature and ultraviolet light as well as mixing and sonication. As such, it is important to select reactors designed to suit specific applications. Photochemical reactors are equipped with photochemical ultraviolet lamps and power supplies to provide a photon source for the reaction, and are widely used for drug discovery, flavor creation, and UV-initiated polymerization reactions, among others. Ultrasonic reactors are equipped with ultrasonic probes which use cavitation to emulsify reagents, and are often used for various emulsification processes including biodiesel production.
Regardless of reactor type, a high-quality system should offer accurate temperature control options. Jacketed systems allow heated or cooled fluids to circulate around the reactor to maintain temperature. Each type of reactor can be configured with a jacket consisting of borosilicate glass with a working temperature range of -40°C to 200°C for optimal temperature control across a wide range of applications.
Scalability and function.
Research, testing and production are carried out in reactors of varying sizes. Bench-scale reactors are ideal for small batch production and can minimize the cost of testing, given their smaller volumes. While large or kilo scale reactors are suitable for research and testing, they also offer greater production capacity. For some, once the effects of various parameters such as temperature, pressure and catalysts are determined, it is necessary to scale-up. Geometry is an important consideration during scale-up, as differences between reactors may affect the behaviour of their contents. As such, selecting a system that allows for the same geometry between reactors may significantly reduce variability in the process and reduce the risk of error during scale-up. Conversely, it may be necessary for other users to scale down. For example, scale-down may be used to identify specific problems in production. A flexible system will enable an easy transition to larger or smaller volumes with robust, customized components.
Various applications will necessitate filter reactors for particle removal. This is often required following introduction of raw ingredients and following the reaction. Reactors that enable multi-step reactions and filtrations in the same vessel can simplify this process and operate via pressure and/or vacuum. Removable filters consisting of glass or poly screen, available in various porosities can make a single system suitable for many different processes.
Other applications require positive pressure for reactions, synthesis or catalysis. For example, hydrogenation and oxidation reactions may require gases that have poor solubility in various reactant solutions. Pressure reactors are used to accelerate the reaction rate, and feature components such as pressure relief manifolds to ensure user safety.
The best solution for your reactions
It is essential to select a reactor system suitable for your laboratory’s specific needs, taking into consideration working volume, motor type, as well as components and accessories. Scale-up processes may benefit from reactor systems that include multiple sizes of reactor vessels for use with the same stand. It is also important to ensure various components and accessories are compatible with different vessel sizes to reduce costs. For especially unique applications, custom designed parts are an excellent solution.
Hundreds of compounds that enhance food aroma, taste, texture and stability have been carefully synthesized and investigated in the laboratory. High-quality chemical reactors are essential for compound development and production, and are an integral part of many laboratories. Ace Glass reactor systems are designed with quality and versatility in mind, and are ideal for the entire process of compound synthesis, from research, to scale-up and production.
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