Author: Martyn Deal
Whether it’s in a busy university lab or a large industrial laboratory, the issue of productivity has long been the source of sleepless nights for chemists. GlaxoSmithKline were at the forefront of tackling this issue and asked the question: How can we conduct multiple reactions in parallel and increase productivity?
Conventional methodology requires assembling a round bottom flask, an oil bath, a glass water condenser, plus a water and power supply; for each separate reaction.
While this individual and traditional approach is fine for “one off” reactions, the quest for increased productivity necessitated an alternative approach, demanding efficiency without compromising on performance. GlaxoSmithKline partnered with Radleys to develop their concept and launch the Carousel.
The Carousel 12 Reaction Station was designed to put the efficiency and productivity back in the hands of the chemist. The Carousel is a personal synthesis station that allows users to conduct up to 12 reactions in the same footprint and length of time as one reaction. In the interest of productivity and ease of use, there is no need for a separate oil bath, or water condenser for each reaction and the Carousel only requires a single standard stirring hotplate, with a common power source and water supply, to work.
Efficient chemistry is at the heart of the original design and the Carousel can simultaneously heat or cool, stir and reflux up to 12 samples under an inert atmosphere.
The most efficient refluxing: Solvent loss from evaporation for example, is a constant headache in all lab environments. A special “cooling zone” and internal shut off valves minimise leaks due to evaporation and ensure a more accurate result.
Uniform heating on 12 reactions: Keeping separate reactions consistent in terms of heat and stirring is a thankless task that further impacts productivity. The Carousel can simultaneously heat up 12 reactions that users can control easily with an accuracy of +/- 1 °C.
Consistent stirring: A patented design, the Carousel ensures efficient and accurate stirring in all 12 tubes. The Carousel unique circular design ensures the precise positioning of the tubes around the centrally located magnet of the stirring hotplate, ensuring that all tubes are stirred equally at the same time.
Precision glassware: The precision engineered borosilicate glass tubes maximise heat transfer from the Carousel’s heated aluminium base and cooled reflux head. Ensuring that all tubes are heated and cooled at the same rate.
Visibility of contents during reactions: Viewing slots in the Carousel base allow users to view tubes and their contents during synthesis.
Ease of use and increased productivity: The Carousel design means performing multiple reactions in parallel has never been easier. The compact reaction station is quick and simple to set up, use and clean, even for the inexperienced chemist.