From round-bottom flask to chemical reactor: 33rd SCI Process Development Symposium

26 Jan 2016

How are chemical reactions which are discovered and researched in a laboratory setting translated into industrial-scale manufacturing processes? Starting as a laboratory process every novel synthetic methodology and synthesis, however efficient on small scale, requires a significant amount of development to end up as an established procedure in a production plant. Industries are faced with the challenging task of exploiting existing laboratory reactions to create and implement new production routines, while taking into consideration economical, ecological and safety requirements. Expertise in chemical engineering, synthetic chemistry and process technology is needed for the successful extrapolation of a laboratory procedure from a mini- to a pilot plant to a full-sized industrial process.

The 33rd SCI Process Development Symposium will explore this highly interdisciplinary field by bringing together a broad range of experts from various backgrounds. Organised by SCI’s Fine Chemicals Group, this established and well-attended meeting offers a discussion platform for process scientists from across the entire spectrum of the discipline.

Here are some comments from two of last year’s speakers:

“I found it was an excellent selection of process related topics, much broader than I would have expected it to be, and it definitely expanded my understanding of the area. The various breaks provided ample opportunity for discussion with many of my industry colleagues in a very relaxed atmosphere, particularly during the wine reception and follow up dinner.”
Prof Igor Larrosa, University of Manchester

“The conference was a unique forum for exchange with industrial process scientists - not only process chemists. As an academic, it was great to interact in a very approachable manner with scientists in such a relaxed environment where everyone obviously enjoyed being in this beautiful venue.”
Prof Steven Nolan, University of St Andrews

During the course of three days speakers from industry and academia will provide insight into their research and latest findings. Regular refreshment breaks, discussions and drinks receptions will provide plenty of opportunity to engage with fellow researchers or to view offers by companies and organisations related to process development.

Process R&D is a key step in providing economical and scaleable chemistry which can be operated at large scale, with increasing focus on shorter or telescoped routes, and sustainable chemistry. Highly advanced industrial chemistry using sustainable approaches such as continuous chemistry, better catalysts and advanced process control will be discussed in detail. There will also be several discussions on the growing area of interest of process analytics, including using these techniques as a form of process control.

There are a wide variety of speakers from the chemical processing industry and academia. Several case histories will illustrate how problems are addressed in various companies. Emerging areas such as synthetic biology will be highlighted as well new approaches to process modelling and process analytics. Other aspects of sustainability such as solvent recycling and the use of bio-renewables will be discussed. New synthetic methodology offering the promise of shorter manufacturing sequences will be outlined along work from the food and biological sectors.

Several speakers will focus on the highly topical area of industrial chemistry, with several discussions on industrial pharmaceutical and Agrochemical production.

There will be a particular focus on new developments in the areas micro-reactors, biotransformation, solvent selection, reaction intensification and optimisation. Some of these developments will be further illustrated with a range of case studies from both the pharmaceutical and agrochemical arenas. Other important areas will be covered, such as nucleotide chemistry.

There will also be a lecture by Andre De Vries in memory of David Ager who was a long time contributor to the symposium and the broader process development community.

Attendees who might be less familiar with the history of process development will find the broad range of topics discussed of great use and interest.

The meeting will also feature the awarding of the Syngenta, Pfizer and AstraZeneca prize for process chemistry research 2015.

Process scientists of all levels of experience and from all areas of the chemical and pharmaceutical sciences are welcome to take advantage of this year’s Process Development Symposium, as an excellent networking opportunity to discuss and learn about state-of-the-art process development.

The symposium will be held in Churchill College in Cambridge from Wednesday 6 - Friday 8 April 2016. College accommodation for delegates is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The full programme and further details can be found at the link below.

Don't forget that CPD points are available to SCI members who attend this event.

Dave Lathbury, SCI Fine Chemicals Group

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