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Reactor capilar con ultrasonidos con control de temperatura y vibración homogénea


Oferta Tecnológica
Una universidad española ha desarrollado un reactor capilar de ultrasonido que permite conseguir una vibración homogénea, eficiente y con control de temperatura. Este reactor ofrece una ventaja en química de flujo e intensificación de procesos y se aplica en las industrias farmacéutica, de química fina y sonoquímica. El nuevo reactor capilar con ultrasonidos consiste en una sonda helicoidal que homogeniza el campo acústico generado y evita obstrucciones con un riguroso control de temperatura. El sonotrodo consiste en una serie de transductores piezoeléctricos apilados y unidos a la sonda, que actúa como guía de onda. La universidad busca empresas interesadas en la explotación comercial de la tecnología para establecer acuerdos de licencia de patente o cooperación técnica.


Ultrasonic capillary reactor with temperature control and homogeneous vibration
A Spanish university has developed an ultrasonically enhanced capillary reactor which achieves homogeneous vibration, efficiency and temperature control. Therefore, this reactor provides an advantage in flow chemistry and process intensification which is common in the pharmaceutical industry, fine chemistry, and in sonochemistry. Companies interested in the commercial exploitation of this technology are sought through patent licensing agreements or technical cooperation agreements.
In flow chemistry, the miniaturization of conventional chemical devices provides a better control over the reaction and greater efficiency, allowing continuous manufacturing instead of batch. However, the presence of solids limits the life span of these miniaturized reaction systems also called capillary, mili- or microreactors. The formation of particle aggregates can cause obstruction of the capillary reactor, commonly known as clogging, both on a laboratory scale and in industrial synthesis, limiting the implementation of these systems.

A Spanish research group has developed an innovative capillary sonoreactor with a helicoidal probe that homogenizes the acoustic field generated without which avoids clogging with a rigorous temperature control.

The sonoreactor consists of a series of piezoelectric transducers stacked and attached to the probe which acts as a waveguide. Figures 1 and 2 show two forms of the ultrasonic capillary reactor which fundamentally comprise a power ultrasonic transducer that transforms electrical to mechanical energy.

The efficiency and high homogeneity achieved by this sonoreactor allows working in at least two modes of operation:
· low power ultrasound, where the amplitude of the vibrations transmitted to the tube is sufficient to reduce the risk of clogging, but not to induce significant changes in temperature or chemical effects;
· high power ultrasound, where the amplitude of the vibrations and corresponding values of acoustic pressure can generate acoustic cavitation suitable for different physicochemical processes such as those related to sonochemistry or enhanced mixing.

For temperature control, the inner part of the helicoidal probe can be used by means of secondary tubing and a thermal paste to improve the heat transfer but not the transmission of mechanical vibrations.

Then, this invention solves the need of a capillary sonoreactor that vibrates homogeneously, efficiently, scalable for long reaction lengths, and with a precise temperature control.

Additionally, it provides an advantage in flow chemistry and process intensification with several applications in the pharmaceutical industry, fine chemistry, and in sonochemistry. The ultrasonic capillary reactor enables continuous manufacturing in chemical or physical processes (crystallization) allowing the handling of solids and/or the improvement of heterogeneous mixtures (gas-liquid-solid) in capillary tubes of variable diameter and length with optimal temperature control.

The research group is mainly looking for companies interested in acquiring this technology for its commercial exploitation through license agreement. The company should be responsible for the development of the industrial prototype, the validation of the technology, its manufacture and its introduction into the market. The university will be ready to provide technical assistance in each step if required.

However, the research group would be also interested in establishing technical cooperation agreements to further develop the laboratory-scale prototype, to find new applications or to adapt it to the company´s needs. The goal of this type of collaboration would be increasing the technology readiness level for a future commercial exploitation of the patent. The university would offer its support based on their know-how; while, the partner sought would provide its expertise to help improve this invention. The university would offer this partner a preferential option to acquire this technology in exclusivity.
Advantages and Innovations:
The main innovative aspect of the capillary sonoreactor is its scalability using ultrasound which enables process intensification via enhanced heat and mass transfer of multiphase (gas-liquid-solid) mediums.

The design of the ultrasonic capillary reactor gives it a number of advantages:
· Different materials, diameters and lengths can be used. Scalable for long reaction lengths.
· Precise temperature control.
· It works efficiently.
· Homogeneous vibration is reached.
· It allows working at both low and high ultrasound power.
· Metal contamination is avoided.
· Optimal control of the reactor temperature.
· Mechanical heat is minimized. The received acoustic power can be amplified.
· The helicoidal arrangement of the probe can adapt different shapes to reduce the space occupied by the reactor. The same ultrasonic transducer can emit a plurality of shaped probes.
· Clogging is avoided.
Stage of Development:
Prototype available for demonstration
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
Spanish patent. PCT also applied for.

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
- Type of partner sought: Industry.
- Specific area of activity of the partner: Pharmaceutical.
- Task to be performed:
* In the license agreement: to buy a license for the technology, to further develop it to the industrial scale and to introduce it into the market.
* In the technical cooperation agreement: to provide their expertise in order to collaborate with the scientists on further development and improvements of the technology. The company should identify technical requirements and/or market and client´s needs in order to carry out further technical development so that the market readiness will be increased and the technology could be commercially exploited.


Type and Size of Client:
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
05003001 Ingeniería acústica y vibracional
02002016 Microingeniería y nanoingeniería