||In the last decade, economic changes had repercussions in all industries; even the pharmaceutical industry, with its high profits obtained, starts to be pressured from all parts of the pharmaceutical value chain. Shift from the traditional pharmaceutical batch processes to continuous processes starts to be imperative in this new era. In order to obtain continuous manufacturing, research focuses in microreactors, static mixers and oscillatory baffled reactors (OFR), the last being in advantage, due to their good results in mixing intensification and scale-up prediction. In last years a new generation of OFR has been arising, the meso-OFR. These mesoscale (milliliter) oscillatory baffled reactors have received considerable attention due to their small volume and ability to operate at low flow rates, reducing reagent requirements and waste. Based on theoretical and experimental observations a research team, headed by the principal investigator (PI) of the present project, found new dimension ranges and design, fulfilling some of the gaps observed in the conventional OFR, as well as in the meso-OFR, actually known. Based on this novel OFR a laboratory prototype was built. This apparatus, under evaluation for patent protection, has been used in continuous or batch mode for mixing intensification using different multiphase systems.
Despite the excellent heat and mass transfer performance observed, experimental and theoretical studies need to be continued, especially in what concerns to the continuous crystallization of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), in order to overcome limitation associated to the technology transfer to the industry.
The knowhow obtained will support applications for national and international projects in partnership with the industry, allowing an increase in long-term collaboration. This project will contribute to the advanced training of human resources by involving PhD and Master students, and the industry.