102. Flexible automation with compact NMR spectroscopy for continuous production of pharmaceuticals

Simon Kern, Lukas Wander, Klas Meyer, Svetlana Guhl, Anwesh Reddy Gottu Mukkula, Manuel Holtkamp, Malte Salge, Christoph Fleischer, Nils Weber, Rudibert King, Sebastian Engell, Andrea Paul, Manuel Pereira Remelhe, Michael Maiwald, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, (2019) DOI: 10.1007/s00216-019-01752-y

Modular plants using intensified continuous processes represent an appealing concept for the production of pharmaceuticals. It can improve quality, safety, sustainability, and profitability compared to batch processes; besides, it enables plug-and-produce reconfiguration for fast product changes. To facilitate this flexibility by real-time quality control, we developed a solution that can be adapted quickly to new processes and is based on a compact nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. The NMR sensor is a benchtop device enhanced to the requirements of automated chemical production including robust evaluation of sensor data. Beyond monitoring the product quality, online NMR data was used in a new iterative optimization approach to maximize the plant profit and served as a reliable reference for the calibration of a near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer. The overall approach was demonstrated on a commercial-scale pilot plant using a metal-organic reaction with pharmaceutical relevance.