Radleys’ compact reaction station brings accurate temperature control to chemical scientists managing small-scale experiments

Gone are the days when the only way to accurately control the temperature of reactions was to work with jacketed lab reactors on a large scale. The lack of correlation between small-scale experiments performed on hotplates (or similar heating-only devices) and their scaled-up version is no longer an issue. The Mya 4 Reaction Station – developed by chemistry equipment manufacturer Radleys – offers precise temperature control, in four independent zones for volumes of 0.5 – 200ml in one compact unit.

Johnson Matthey Chemists

“Without accuracy of temperature, you cannot conduct a successful DoE exercise”


Johnson Matthey – Senior Development Chemist, Dr Timothy Davies

Development chemists at Johnson Matthey (JM) spotted subtle, yet statistically meaningful, differences in impurity profiles when studying the key processing parameters in the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients. They realised the root cause was the lack of consistency of temperature profiling provided by the parallel reactor they were using.

‘Without accuracy of temperature, you cannot conduct a successful design of experiment (DoE) exercise,’ says Timothy Davies, senior development chemist at JM.

Johnson Matthey’s impurity profiles fixed by Mya 4

Despite consistently setting the temperature to 55.0°C, the development team’s prior setup would show reaction temperature variations between 51.2 – 55.3°C over eight identical experiments. This led to an unwanted impurity content (at the end of the reaction) of between 1.98 – 3.23%.

Performing the same experiments in Mya 4, the reaction temperature was controlled accurately at 55⁰C across four repeats, which led to a lower and much more consistent impurity content profile at 1.84 ± 0.07%. With temperature being the most significant variable to affect impurity profiles in JM’s experimental studies, it had proven difficult to quantify the effect of other variables – such as stirrer speed and reagent stoichiometry. ‘The precision of temperature control provided by the Mya 4 has been essential to understanding key processing parameters of temperature sensitive experiments. It is allowing us to improve our understanding of current manufacturing processes,’ adds Davies.

Bridging the gap: R&D and mass production

Since installing their Mya 4 Reaction Station, the JM development team has obtained reproducible, reliable and meaningful results thanks to accurate and consistent temperature control. This upgrade in equipment is also allowing the development chemists at JM to carry out DoE exercises on a smaller scale, which was not previously achievable.

Identifying a key parameter to improve on a small scale can have a significant impact at manufacturing scaleDr Timothy Davies

The link between process R&D and manufacturing is crucial, whether the process chemist is working on small-scale processes which will be applied on a manufacturing scale or studying existing manufacturing processes in the lab to better understand key reaction parameters. Achieving similar conditions, on small to large scale, is vital.

‘If we can get better experimental data and identify a key parameter to improve on a small scale – such as better temperature control – which will have an impact on manufacturing scale – such as a 5% increase in yield, this also helps justify capital expenditure in the production facility,’ says Davies.

Streamlining chemical synthesis and process development with Mya 4

Purolite demands reliable, reproducible and scalable results

Purolite R&D manager Patrick Gilbert’s lab focuses on the functionalisation of resins with biomolecules, which are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Because of this, the team required a more reliable form of temperature control to replace hotplates and water/oil baths.

On a large scale, the same group is used to using jacketed lab reactors and getting reliable, reproducible and scalable results.

‘Mya 4 fulfils the need of a multipurpose small-scale reactor system that is not over-specified. The fact that the unit is so versatile is a strong advantage,’ says Gilbert. ‘On previous systems I’ve looked at, flask sizes were limited to one or two options. I would have loved one two years ago so I could have used it as the workhorse for most of the project.’

Within a few weeks of being installed, Mya 4 was already making a huge difference in Purolite’s lab. Used daily for R&D work, Mya 4 supports critical projects including a multi-stage activation reaction at 40°C, with an exotherm which lasts about 10h. Mya 4 is also being used in an application to immobilise a protein on the surface of a resin at 30°C. With its limited temperature window to avoid denaturation and proximity to ambient temperature, it proved a difficult application before Mya 4. With experiments now directly scalable to pilot plant scale but also performed in smaller batches, this results in lower cost and less waste for Purolite.

I would have loved one two years ago and used it as the workhorse for most of the projectPurolite - R&D Manager, Patrick Gilbert
Will Wilson

Mya 4 makes lab life a breeze

Radleys’ Mya 4 Product Marketing Manager Will Wilson enjoys seeing the positive impact the reaction station is having in customers’ labs. ‘Making chemists’ lives easier in the lab through innovation and productivity is key to Radleys, Mya 4 is a perfect example of that,’ Wilson says.

‘For R&D chemists across so many industries, wherever accurate temperature control or flexibility in scale is key, Mya 4 is addressing their needs’ he adds.  ‘The demand for increased productivity, reduced costs and less waste is a common theme, Mya 4 can impact in in each of these, quick to set up and offering 24/7 unattended operation.  It’s great to hear the success stories from our customers and I look forward to helping more’

Mya 4 is a four-zone reaction station that offers precise heating, active cooling, software control and data logging for 24/7 unattended chemistry.

This innovative reaction station provides ultimate flexibility: independent control over four zones with temperatures ranging from -30°C to +180°C, a wide choice of vessels from 2ml to 400ml and the option of magnetic or overhead stirring.

Making chemists’ lives easier in the lab through innovation and productivity is key to Radleys, and Mya 4 is a perfect example of thatRadleys - Mya 4 Product Marketing, Manager Will Wilson

Mya 4’s application range includes:

  • Exothermic reactions – which require active cooling
  • Design of Experiment (DOE) – at multiple scales and temperatures
  • Work with temperature-sensitive materials (eg biomolecules) – which require tight tolerance on temperatures
  • Experiments requiring controlled cooling or heating ramps

Mya 4 is allowing chemists around the world to obtain reliable, reproducible and scalable results. Radleys is offering face-to-face and online demonstrations of this innovative piece of lab equipment, allowing end users to determine for themselves how it could improve their work, including streamlining operations and reducing cost and waste.

To book your own demonstration please click here.