A performance-based comparison for the synthesis of Plavix (Clopidogrel) in a microreactor vs. batch reactor: From CuBr2 homogeneous catalysis to heterogeneous catalysis using a Cu-based MOF (VNU-18)

Document Type : Article


1 Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec H4B 1R6, Canada


We investigated Plavix's continuous-flow synthesis through both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis utilizing a microreactor. The CuBr2 homogeneous catalyst was used in the former, whereas a Cu-based MOF (i.e., VNU-18 metal-organic framework) heterogeneous catalyst was first synthesized, then characterized, and ultimately utilized in the latter. Each catalytic system's performance was examined concerning factors including feed flowrate, reaction temperature, catalyst loading, residence time, and solvent. Plavix was produced with an optimum yield of 58.2% at 50 °C in 40 min when working under the continuous-flow homogeneous catalysis utilizing DMSO as solvent. Meanwhile, the performances of the batch- and microreactors were examined in the instance of heterogeneous catalysis. According to the findings, the reaction ceased utilizing the microreactor device after 25 min, yielding up to 42.7% product at room temperature using DMF as solvent. However, the product yield of 50.7% was attained in a batch system after 12 h. A comparison between the performance of the flow reactors with that of the batch system reveals that the flow systems are more promising to be the future trend of processing at the industrial scale for the Plavix production than that of the batch in terms of the comparable product yields and lowered reaction time.


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