"I would have loved one two years ago, so I could have used it as the workhorse for most of the project.” Dr Patrick Gilbert (R&D Manager)

Purolite Life Sciences

Contacts: Dr Patrick Gilbert

Organisation: Purolite Life Sciences

Department: R&D

Country: UK (Wales)

Product: Mya 4 Reaction Station

Case Study No: CS1088

If only I had a Mya 4 a year ago, I wouldn’t have spent so many late nights in the lab topping up ice baths.Sean Hines (Scientist)

The situation

Dr Gilbert’s lab works on the functionalisation of resins with biomolecules which are highly sensitive to temperature. On a large scale, they use jacketed reactors. However, their small-scale experiments were performed in water or oil baths, giving them poor temperature control with wider batch variations. In these conditions, their small-scale studies were not representative of what would happen in process vessels, meaning scale up often involved reworking of formulations.

The objective

Dr Gilbert was looking for better temperature control of temperatures close to room temperature, as well as data logging of experiments. Consistency of results and scalability to pilot plant scale was key, including the ability to maintain a constant process temperature for exothermic and endothermic reactions, and a drive to reduce the minimum scale for functionalisation due to limited availability of some of the biomolecules at the R&D stage. As the resin beads are sensitive to grinding, overhead stirring was a prerequisite.

The results

Within a few weeks of being installed, Mya 4 (with a manifold head and process glassware) was already making a huge difference in the Purolite lab. Used every day for agarose R&D work, Mya 4 enables projects Purolite could not do before. Experiments are now directly scalable to pilot plant scale but also performed in smaller batches, which means less cost and less waste. Process development work is much faster, with multiple temperature profiles run independently. Mya 4 benefited Purolite in many other ways, including:

  • The Mya Compact stirrers (and range of stirrer shafts) allows them to mimic stirring on large scale
  • Experiments now reproducible with less deviation
  • Data is not lost as it is automatically logged
  • Mya 4 can handle both endothermic and exothermic processes
  • Space-saving
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 – on previous systems I have looked at the flask sizes was limited to 1 or 2 options. In all fairness I would have loved one two years ago, so I could have used it as the workhorse for most of the project.Dr Patrick Gilbert, Purolite Life Sciences