The result of any reaction is the formation
of one or more different chemical compounds.
Consequeently, it may be necessary during
a reaction to remove, by some other unit
operation, one or more of the reaction products.
This necessity is often encountered and
it is frequently undertaken by distillation.
Equipment designed specifically for this
purpose is shown in Section 3 - Commercial
Scale Reactors with Distillation Equipment.
In the pharmaceutical and
fine chemical industries, reaction chemistry
is normally developed in the laboratory,
using small scale laboratory type equipment,
until it becomes important to scale up the
manufacturing level to pilot plant level.
The major function of such a pilot plant
is to synthesise multi-kilogram quantities
of more therapeutic agents needed for toxicological
and clinical evalutions.
Borosilicate glass equipment has been used
for chemical reactions successfully for
many years. The inertness of borosilicate
glass is critical where high product purity
is essential. Furthemore, the modular construction
of glass reaction units permits the high
degree of flexbility, especially with smaller
scale units. Reactions such as esterification
are commonly executed in borosilicate glass.
The consitituent parts required for any
reaction system depend on the requirements
of the particular reaction involved. The
above diagram (see Figure 1) identifies
the fundamental constituent parts of a reaction
unit. A reaction unit usually consists of
the reactor vessel, a means of heating/cooling
and string the reactor vessel and an overhead
arrangement including some means of feeding
the reaction. This brochure outlines typical
equipment available and assists in the specification
of a reaction unit.