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Pharmaceutical production remains one of the last industries that predominantly uses batch processes, which are inefficient and can cause drug shortages due to the long lead times or quality defects. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are transitioning away from outdated batch lines, in large part motivated by the many advantages of continuous manufacturing (e.g., low cost, quality assurance, shortened lead time). As chemical reactions are fundamental to any drug production process, the selection of reactor and its design are critical to enhanced performance such as improved selectivity and yield. In this article, relevant theories, and models, as well as their required input data are summarized to assist the reader in these tasks, focusing on continuous reactions. Selected examples that describe the application of plug flow reactors (PFRs) and continuous-stirred tank reactors (CSTRs)-in-series within the pharmaceutical industry are provided. Process analytical technologies (PATs), which are important tools that provide real-time in-line continuous monitoring of reactions, are recommended to be considered during the reactor design process (e.g., port design for the PAT probe). Finally, other important points, such as density change caused by thermal expansion or solid precipitation, clogging/fouling, and scaling-up, are discussed.Graphical abstract[graphic not available: see fulltext]
Journal of Flow Chemistry – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2021
Keywords: Flow chemistry; Continuous manufacturing; PFR; CSTR; PAT; Residence time distribution
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