27 February 2024

A 60-times faster digital-discovery-compatible reaction setup with enhanced safety for chemical applications

Modern laboratory practices demand safer, efficient, and more green and sustainable solutions, especially given the often dangerous nature of the chemicals used. This study introduces a technique for addressing these challenges by encapsulating chemicals within 3D-printed polymeric cylinders designed for various chemical transformations. The studied encapsulation method not only exhibits reaction yields comparable to those of established methodologies, but also significantly increases the safety and procedural efficiency of laboratory practice. The specially designed capsules are soluble in prevalent organic solvents, facilitating the controlled release of their chemical contents when subjected to reactions. The inherent compatibility of these capsules with multiple reagents underscores their potential to be considered as a new approach in sustainable laboratory practices. Encapsulation technology presents a safer alternative to manual handling of volatile, toxic, and flammable reagents, thus mitigating potential hazards. This translates to a significant reduction in the risks associated with chemical handling while simultaneously simplifying traditional time-consuming procedures. Varying the geometric and chemical properties of the capsules allows for the encapsulation of a diverse range of substances and reactions, demonstrating their adaptability. Given its transformative potential, this technique provides new opportunities for future endeavors in the chemical domain. The approach of encapsulating chemicals could contribute to an expected digital discovery paradigm shift, ushering in an era of streamlined, safer, and sustainable chemical practices. The potential benefits, from safety to sustainability, of this approach make it appealing for a broad spectrum of chemical applications.

Reference: Green Chem., 2024, ASAP.

DOI: 10.1039/D3GC04064J