CSIRO has launched its “FloWorks” Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry today in Clayton, Victoria.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears:FloWorks  CSIRO’s Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry]

[Images flash through of Dr. Christian Hornung working in a laboratory and then the image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera and text appears: Dr. Christian Hornung, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Manufacturing]

Dr. Christian Hornung: Hi.  My name is Christian Hornung.  I am a Research Scientist at CSIRO and I work in the Flow Chemistry area. 

[Image changes to show a male working in the Centre for Industrial flow Chemistry]

The Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry is a new facility here at Clayton.

[Camera zooms in on the male tapping a touch screen computer and then the camera zooms in on the male’s hand working on one of the machines]

It is a technology platform that provides access to CSIRO’s cutting edge flow chemistry technology to industry as well as academic researchers. 

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

Flow Chemistry’s a smarter way of making chemicals. 

[Image changes and text appears: Flow Chemistry, This is How it Works]

In flow chemistry,

[Image changes to show an animation diagram of two feed tanks feeding into a reactor]

other than in a classical batch process, the starting materials are fed into the reactor continuously and this is where the reaction takes place. 

[Image shows a second reactor and a third feed tank being added to the animation diagram]

If you use multi stage processing, you can eliminate the need for manual handling of chemicals in between steps and that greatly improves safety. 

[Image shows inline purification and a product tank being added to the animation diagram]

Adding in inline purification makes the whole process more streamlined and efficient

[Image changes to show an analysis box being added to the animation diagram]

and when you integrate smart monitoring and online analysis the whole process can be automated. 

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

So, what are the benefits of flow chemistry for your business? 

[Image changes to show two males looking at a computer screen and then the camera zooms in on a male using a touch screen]

It basically means that you can reduce your reaction times, you can reduce your plant space

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

and that means that they’ll have less energy costs, a much more efficient process, less waste and a much safer environment. 

[Image changes to show a glass beaker with liquid being picked up and then the image changes to show a male working on a touch screen]

At the Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry we offer a complete package which is quite unique. 

[Image changes to show a part of the equipment and then the image changes to show

Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

So, we’re looking at the chemical development as well as the technology from the very early discovery stages

[Image changes to show two males working at a piece of laboratory equipment and then the camera zooms in on the male’s hands as he adds chemical]

going through a scale up process to the final pilot scale where we then can do the tech transfer back to the client’s site

[Image changes to show a male and a female walking up a set of stairs]

where he can do the manufacturing of their product. 

[Image shows the male and the female looking at the equipment]

In the new Centre, we will combine the small-scale capabilities for discovery as well as our large-scale reactors under one roof. 

[Camera zooms in on the female’s face as she talks to the male and then the camera zooms out to show them looking up at a gauge on top of stainless steel type tanks and then filling a beaker from the tank]

It’s going to be a collaborative space and in the future we’re looking forward to having even more engagement with industry

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

and for this technology to be taken up by chemical manufacturers in all areas. 

[Music plays and images flash through of Zoran Manev walking through an office and talking to a female at a computer and then the image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera and text appears: Zoran Manev, Director, Boron Molecular]

Zoran Manev:  Boron Molecular is a manufacturer of fine chemicals.  The fine chemicals are used in both the pharmaceutical and material science field.

[Image changes to show a beaker of fluid on sitting on top of a machine and then the image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera]

I guess I’m now one of the prophets of flow chemistry and we have a unit here on site

[Image changes to show two males walking down a set of stairs past laboratory equipment]

that we use to develop a number of our processes or convert them from batch to flow. 

[Image changes to show two males looking at the equipment and then the camera zooms in on hoses running into the equipment]

Flow chemistry will enable us to make purer molecules. 

[Images changes to show a piece of the equipment and then the image changes to show pharmaceutical products on shelves and the camera pans around the shelves]

So, we will have fewer side chains and fewer issues when we scale up manufacturer from small-scale to larger even tonne lots. 

[Image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera and then the image changes to show a piece of laboratory equipment]

The resultant of that is, is that you’re wasting less solvents, less energy and you’re having far less material that you’re discarding into the environment. 

[Image changes to show hoses joining into the laboratory equipment and then the image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera]

We’re excited at the prospect of working with CSIRO’s Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry. 

[Camera zooms in on Zoran Manev’s face and then images move through of a male and female looking at a piece of equipment, a male looking at liquid in a beaker and a female looking up]

We look to that partnership being one where we will get introduced to a number of potential clients through our involvement with the Centre

[Image changes and the camera pans in a clockwise direction around a room with stainless steel tanks]

and likewise the Centre will continue to develop molecules for us that we will eventually bring back to our facility for manufacturing. 

[Image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera]

In five to ten years’ time I see flow chemistry as being the prevalent chemistry on site. 

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

Dr. Christian Hornung: If people want to get access to the facility and learn more about the technology get in contact with us.

[CSIRO logo and text appears: Big ideas start here, www.csiro.au]

FloWorks Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry

Additional Resources

FloWorks will provide cutting-edge research into flow chemistry capability, making it more accessible to the chemical manufacturing industry.

Senior research scientist with CSIRO’s manufacturing sector and director of the new centre, Dr Christian Hornung, said flow chemistry offers a cleaner, smarter and more efficient way of making chemicals.

“The benefits of using the flow process include reduced reaction times and plant space, which equate to less energy cost, more efficient processes, reduced waste and a much safer environment,” Dr Hornung said.

Contrary to traditional batch chemistry methods, starting materials are fed into a reactor where the chemical reaction takes place in a continuous stream, a method that in many cases has proven to be a more efficient and cost effective way of producing chemicals.

Multi-stage processing, which eliminates the need for manual handling of chemicals in between steps, greatly improves safety, while in-line purification makes the system more streamlined.

Smart monitoring and on-line analysis is used to automate the manufacturing process.

Industry partner, Zoron Manev from Boron Molecular, uses flow chemistry at his Noble Park plant to manufacture fine chemicals for Australian and international pharmaceutical and materials science clients.

“CSIRO helped us integrate flow chemistry into our operations,” Mr Manev said.

“We use our unit to develop a number of processes or convert them from batch to flow.

“Flow chemistry enables us to make purer molecules, so we have fewer side products and fewer issues when we scale up to manufacture from small scale to larger tonne lots.

“With flow we’re using far less solvents and energy and discarding far less waste material into the environment than we would otherwise,” he said.

FloWorks offers a unique, complete package all the way through development; from early discovery stages to industrial scale-up and tech transfer.

A purpose-built 410m2 facility will be housed at CSIRO’s Clayton site in Melbourne’s south east.

Incorporating all of CSIRO’s flow chemistry equipment, its capabilities will range from small-scale discovery tools to large-scale industrial reactors.

Dr Hornung said the new collaborative space would generate greater engagement with industry and other research bodies.

“I see flow technology eventually being taken up by chemical manufacturers in all areas,” he said.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Flow Chemistry, a better solution for chemical manufacturing]

[Animated images flash onto the screen of roll on deodorant being applied, shampoo being added to hair, perfume being sprayed and a frying pan being heated on a stove]

Manufacturing chemical based products is important to everyday life and plays a central role in the global economy. 

[Image changes to show an animation of different types of soaps in dispensers and also a block of soap]

Combining chemicals with different properties and functions leads to advanced products

[Animation images flash through of a tablet being put into a glass, a sandwich in a snap lock bag, two cushions and washing detergent being put into a washing machine]

in areas like medicine, food, textiles and household products. 

[Image changes to show an animation of a male looking at a lab experiment set up on a bench]

Previously, classical batch chemistry has been simple and effective when discovering new materials

[Image changes to show an animation of a male looking at a chemical production line and the camera pans to the right along the line]

but using this method to scale up chemical production can be problematic. 

[Animation images show a bin with green fluid spilling from the top and a skull above it and then the camera pans to the right to show a tank full of fluid, heating and mixing and the male runs across the screen from the left to the right]

There can be issues with waste, for example, heat management or even runaway reactions. 

[Animation image and sounds of an explosion can be heard]

[Animation image changes to show a chemical manufacturing plant and then the camera zooms out to show the chemical manufacturing plant perched on top of the world globe]

Moving to cleaner, more cost effective chemical production is important for sustaining chemical manufacturing in Australia and around the world. 

[Text appears: Flow Chemistry]

Flow Chemistry is a smarter way of making chemicals. 

[Text appears: This is how it works]

This is how it works. 

[Animation image changes to show two feed tanks feeding lines into a reactor]

Pumps deliver chemicals to a reactor where chemical reaction takes place inside a continuous stream.

[Animation image moves to the left and a third feed tank can be seen feeding a line into a second reactor to the right of the first reactor]

Multi stage flow processing eliminates the need for chemical handling in between steps which improves safety. 

[Animation image moves to the left again and a line feeding from the second reactor to a purification system is added and then the image moves to the left again and a line is added feeding from the purification system to the product tank]

Adding inline purification makes the process more efficient and streamlined. 

[Animation image now adds an analysis box to the diagram]

By integrating smart monitoring and online analysis entire chemical operations can be automated.

[Animation image changes to show a part of the flow reactor and the chemical flow channels are shown on the surface of the part]

The small dimensions and clever design of these flow channels provide much greater control over the chemical reaction taking place inside.

[The camera zooms in on the flow channels on the part of the flow reactor and then the part stands end up and is fitted into the flow reactor]

Mixing is fast and efficient and the modular design offers flexibility.  Broken parts can be swiftly replaced without shutting down entire operations. 

[Animation image shows temperature control flows into the reactor from the left hand and right hand side of the screen]

Excellent heat control inside the reactor means boundaries can be pushed in a safe environment avoiding waste and hazardous explosions along the way.

[Animation image shows the flow reactor front being closed and then the camera zooms out to show four flow reactors on a shelf next to a tank mixing and heating liquid]

Because flow reactors operate continuously, making more product simply means running the operation for a longer time. 

[Animation image of the tank moves off the screen to the right and the flow reactor shelf moves to the left and another five flow reactor shelves are added and two scientists appear on the screen from the right hand side]

Scaling up reactors is much simpler too.  Transferring chemical manufacturing from lab to factory becomes significantly faster and more straightforward with less need to redesign. 

[Image changes to show a chemical manufacturing plant with chimneys and smoke stacks on the roof and then the smoke stacks and chimneys disappear leaving a flat roofed building]

Flow Chemistry reduces processing time from hours to minutes which in turn reduces required plant space. 

[Animation images appear above the chemical manufacturing plant of a light bulb, a recycle symbol, a worker with a hard hat and a dollar sign and text appears: Less energy, less wastage, increased safety, reduced cost]

For industrial chemical manufacturers this translates to lower energy usage, less wastage, increased safety and reduced costs. 

[CSIRO logo and text appears: Big ideas start here, www.csiro.au]

Flow Chemistry - A better solution for chemical manufacturing

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Images

  • Cleaner, safer, faster flow chemistry will eventually replace most traditional batch chemistry methods for Chemical manufacture.

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  • Director of CSIRO’s new FloWorks Centre of Industrial Flow Chemistry, Dr. Christian Hornung works on an industrial scale reactor at the Centre.

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  • Dr Ivan Martinez Botella working at CSIRO’s new FloWorks Centre of Industrial Flow Chemistry.

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  • This small scale flow chemistry reactor fits on a desk top.

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  • This small scale flow chemistry reactor fits on a desk top.

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