Heterocycles play a very important role in nature and in chemical synthesis as well. In nature, nitrogen-, oxygen- and sulfur-containing heterocyclic molecules can be found in every living being. Lots of these molecules have a specific biological effect, smell or color and that’s the reason the modern chemical industry (dominantly pharmaceutical companies) is interested in producing these materials. There are two ways of producing novel heterocycles. First, with the help of nature, using plants and animals to extract the already existing heterocycles. The second way is the total synthesis of these molecules from small organic or inorganic components. ThalesNano is committed to help chemists to create new compounds beyond the chemical space available with conventional batch methods.
Synthesis of heterocyclic compounds in flow
The synthesis of heterocycles started in the early 1800’s. Nowadays there are many well-known synthesis pathways for the most common heterocyclic compounds. Many of these reactions need elevated temperature, catalysis, acid- or base addition to form the desired product. In batch methods, these reactions can be hazardous and the reaction scale always has a strong dependence on the volume of the vessel. With ThalesNano’s reactors, these reactions can be placed in a continuous system in which the pressure, temperature and residence time can be controlled precisely in a safe environment.
There are specific reactions that need even higher temperatures. For these cases, ThalesNano has developed the Phoenix Flow Reactor systems, which can be heated up to 450 °C and used up to 100/200 bar (depending on the connected modules).