Chemical laboratory automation accelerates process development

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composite image represents self-developed software package, Rxn Rover, for automation of reactors for the synthesis of diglycolamides for rare earth separation. 
Self-developed software package, Rxn Rover, for automation of reactors for the synthesis of diglycolamides for rare earth separation. 

CMI researchers at Ames National Laboratory conducted the research for this highlight

Innovation
An automation software, Rxn Rover, is introduced to enable agile on-demand synthesis of functional molecules (such as diglycolamides for rare earth separation), expedite process development, and improve data reproducibility.

Achievement

  • Automation allowed long experiments (typically 12 - 72 hours) to be performed continuously without downtime and human presence.
  • Tens of varied reaction conditions can be queued in one run for continuous process screening and optimization.

Significance and Impact

  • Turns typical multi-day experiments into single-day continuous experiments with 10-fold increases of time efficiency.
  • Improves safety and reproducibility by minimizing human interaction.
  • Enables AI/ML supervision for rapid reaction optimization.

Hub Target Addressed 
The development of this advanced experimental tool can greatly reduce time for process development and demonstration from lab to pilot scale.