/  October 23, 2020, 10:30 a.m. CET

Webinar SelectBIO

Continuous scalable Grignard reagent formation: Transferring research results into applica-tion


Speaker/presenter: Dr. Gabriele Menges-Flanagan (E-Mail: Gabriele.Menges-Flanagan(at)

The Webinar will cover a general overview of Flow Chemistry work done at Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems IMM with a particular focus on the continuous scalable Grignard reagent formation.


Grignard reagents are of high relevance in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry for carbon-carbon bond formation. In the synthesis of the top 50 active pharmaceutical ingredients, about 10 percent of the synthetic pathways contain one or more Grignard reactions. The continuous Grignard reagent formation process that has been developed at Fraunhofer IMM currently covers throughputs from the lab-scale to the pilot-scale allowing access to production capacities in the order of 100 tons per year (throughputs up to 20 l/h). Relying on a patented, innovative reactor concept and process implementation, a number of typical challenges can be overcome.

As in many cases the synthesis of Grignard reagents is highly exothermic, an excellent thermal management is required to allow for safe processing of such highly reactive intermediates. The approach detailed here includes a continuous supply of magnesium turnings and their integrated mechanical activation. Incubation times are decreased and the use of auxiliary reagents for a safe reaction start can be omitted for most cases. The main advantages of the presented research are a flexibility in production, improved safety, and a cleaner and faster product formation.

Besides the current efforts on the modular pilot plant for the continuous synthesis of various Grignard reagents, the activities will be extended towards further organometallic compounds.