CSIRO develops catalyst that could expedite drug and chemical production

CSIRO's catlaytic mixer. They are placed inside a flow reactor to create chemical reactions (CSIRO)

CSIRO's catlaytic mixer. They are placed inside a flow reactor to create chemical reactions (CSIRO)

A team of CSIRO scientists has developed a catalyst that may expedite the manufacturing of drugs and chemicals.

The new process, when combined with flow chemistry removes the need to filter out catalysts.

CSIRO’s FloWorks Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry researcher Dr James Gardiner said the team used the technique to create the antiobiotic Linezolid.

The team’s research was the first successful example of combine catalyst and flow reactor technology that could be commercialised.

The catalyst is then removed at the end – an often tedious, time-consuming and costly task.

CSIRO’s new method involved it 3D printing specially designed rods known as static mixers at, then using its Cold Spray technology to coat and immobilise the catalyst onto the rods.

The rods were then placed inside the flow reactor, allowing reactions to occur without the catalyst leaching into the product.