Pharmaceutical manufacturers are always looking to increase production yields, reduce time-to-market and increase the quality of their products while lowering energy use and their environmental impact. Corning’s continuous-flow reactors offer a robust and efficient solution.

Corning’s Advanced-Flow™ reactors are made of either glass or ceramics and provide easy scalability, adaptability to market demand, short transitions between R&D and production, and a substantial economic advantage

The Advanced-Flow glass reactors are constructed from sets of interconnected standard glass fluidic modules. Each module has a reaction layer containing millimetre-scale channels, which are integrated with heat transfer, allowing a precise temperature control along the entire reactor path.

Fluidic modules can manage several unit operations such as feeding, premixing, preheating and reagent mixing, and provide different residence times depending on their relative position in the reactor, the number of inlets and their internal design.

Corning’s Advanced-Flow glass reactors are well known by researchers and application and process engineers working in the areas of process improvement and intensification in pharmaceuticals, crop protection and other speciality and fine segments of the chemicals industry.

Combining excellent mass transfer with heat transfer characteristics, Corning’s Advanced-Flow glass reactors can successfully increase production yields, improve process selectivity and shorten production cycles, while improving the safety and economics of chemical production.

Ceramic model

The latest member of the Corning family of Advanced-Flow reactors is the ceramic Advanced-Flow G4 reactor, which enables very high flow throughput, outstanding thermal heat transfer performance and great corrosion resistance. The reactor’s abilities are made possible by integrating the superior thermal conductivity of the ceramic with the unique design qualities of the Advanced-Flow reactor. From the combined expertise of Corning and Mersen/Boostec, this reactor makes simple, high-quality and cost-effective continuous-flow chemical processing possible. It conducts under the same operating and constructive principles of the Advanced-Flow reactor family and has a mixing chamber design and a fully metal-free reaction path. The G4 reactor is comprised of sintered ceramic fluidic modules, Perlast® gaskets and a stainless steel frame, all fully compatible with the chemical production environment.

The consistent design of the reactor modules allows easy and fast scale-up from a small glass reactor to a large ceramic reactor.

Ideal uses for the ceramic reactor

Taking into account the superior heat transfer characteristics of the ceramic material and its strong resistance to corrosion by chemical media, the Advanced-Flow G4 reactor is ideal for use in highly exothermic reactions and reactions using highly corrosive components. In cases where glass reactors are not able to handle specific chemical media, such as strong bases at high temperatures or HF acid, the ceramic reactor provides a superb alternative.

Corning’s new Advanced-Flow G4 ceramic reactor is ideal for production at industrial-level capacity (see Table 1). With an internal volume of up to six litres, it is able to deliver up to 300kg of product per hour.

Table 1. Operating parameters of Corning’s Advanced-Flow G4 ceramic reactor.
Operating conditions Process pass Heat exchange pass
Temperature (°C) -25 up to 200 -25 up to 200
Pressure (barg) up to 18 Up to 6