A. Sinclair, A. Taraboletti, D. T. Restrepo, K. Chagoya, R. G. Blair, S. Biltek, S. Jackson
Royal Society of Chemistry
Mechanochemical approaches to chemical synthesis offer the promise of improved yields, new reaction pathways, and greener syntheses. Scaling these syntheses is a crucial step toward realizing a commercially viable process. Although much work has been performed on laboratory-scale investigations little has been done to move these approaches toward industrially relevant scales. Moving reactions from shaker-type mills and planetary-type mills to scalable solutions can present a challenge. We have investigated scalability through discrete element models, thermal monitoring, and reactor design. We have found that impact forces and macroscopic mixing are important factors in implementing a truly scalable process. These observations have allowed us to scale reactions from a few grams to several hundred grams and we have successfully implemented scalable solutions for the mechanocatalytic conversion of cellulose to value-added compounds and the synthesis of edge-functionalized graphene.
Discrete element method, scalability