Automated Control of Flow Chemistry |

Automated Control

Flow commander screenshot


When the R Series Flow Chemistry System is combined with the  Flow Commander ™ Control Software (shown left) the resulting platform is capable of a level of automation unmatched by any other product.


Illustration of reagent efficiency with multi step reactions

Click here for full size illustration

Click on the titles below  to learn more

Fully automate a sequence of reactions Explore the whole workspace of possible reaction parameters, including time, temperature, concentration and reagent proportions.  
Expand the system as required Add a fraction collector to collect the final product of each reaction,  or an autosampler to feed different reagents into each successive reactions of a sequence,  and use up to 4 pumped channels.  
Collect only the good stuff The  Flow Commander ™ software computes the dispersion that takes place throughout the flow reactors and tubing, and can automatically determine when the output stream will have reached steady state.  The "end effects" of the reaction slug can be discarded and the specified volume of good product kept.   

Eliminate Waste of Expensive Reagents

When a multi step reaction is carried out, the Vapourtec system times each "slug" of reagent to arrive at the correct time, so that the consumption of each reagent is only exactly what is required.  Watch demo


Data collection and presentation Log each reaction, save results (including UV traces for each collected fraction), generate reports, share reactions with users in other labs.  
Easy, rapid scaleup Take a proven reaction, specify a bigger reactor, and the software automatically recalculates the flow rates.  Instant scaleup !  

Choose how to host it..

Flow Commander ™ can be hosted either on a separate laptop or on an embedded touch screen controller, as shown below.


Built in embedded touch screen

Laptop running Windows


Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.


Fully Automate a Sequence of Reactions


Safe unattended running Because the Vapourtec system can automatically detect either a leak or a blockage, it is completely safe to leave the system running reactions unattended, even overnight.
Easy programming

The user first describes the experimental setup (i.e. the reactor(s), UV Sensor,  fraction collector and autosampler and how they are interconnected).   A diagram is presented showing the overall setup.

Then the user adds reactions, varying parameters between each successive reacton to cover the required optimisation workspace.  Each reaction can be entered by copying a previous reaction the changing one or more parameters, making for very rapid programming of an optimisation sequence.

The system automatically includes a wash cycle between each reaction.

Specify the things that matter

With Flow Commander ™, the user can specify the quantities that matter (the independent variables).  For example reactor residence time (not flow rate) and the total amount of good product to collect.

Other  (dependent) variables such as flow rate are then automatically calculated.  Should the same reaction be repeated later with a different size reactor, flow rates will be recalculated accordingly.

Determine total consumables required Once the user has specified a list of different reactions that are to be performed in sequence, the software computes the total amount of each reagent (and system solvent) that will be required.    The user can then load up the required amounts in the feed bottles and start the experiments.

Expand the system as required

The R Series System has been designed as a modular system enabling the user to expand the capability as needs grow.

The following items can be added to the system and controlled via Flow Commander ™ software:

Fraction collector Capture the output from each sequenced reaction in one or more specified vials.  Optionally specify an aliquot to be taken to a separate vial in the middle of a fraction for analysis purposes.
UV Sensor Monitor a sensor in real time and record the trace for the portion of the output that was captured.  This is included in the report that can be generated for each reaction.
Four pumps

With an additonal pumping module, the system can be upgraded to 3 or 4 pumps.  Click here for a list of some flow chemistry approaches that this makes possible


An R Series System that features the R2+ pumping module offers the user the facility to use a sample injection loop to dispense a fixed amount of a reagent for a given reaction.  With the addition of an autosampler, the sample loop can potentially be reloaded every cycle with a different reagent.  This means that an automated sequence can be created in which the system carries out a range of different reactions, completely unattended.



Collect only the good stuff

Flow Commander ™ features a unique dispersion algorithm, the result of a very significant amount of R&D .

Because of this,  the user can specify how much good (i.e. steady state) product is to be collected in each final fraction.  The software calculates how much dispersion will occur throught the configured tubing and reactor(s) and hence determines the size of the reaction slug "end effect" that will need to be discarded before and after the "good" product. 

Only the minimum amount of reagent required to create the specified amount of  good product is consumed.


Eliminate Waste of Expensive Reagents

The illustration below shows how different reagents in a multi stage reaction are automatically timed to arrive just when required.   All tube lengths are taken into account by the software.


Illustration of reagent efficiency with multi step reactions


 Note how initially the 3rd and 4th pumps don't even need to run, saving system solvent.

Data Collection and Presentation


Save and share reactions Reactions that are setup and executed using Flow Commander ™ can be saved for future re-use or shared with other users with R Series Systems.
Log, save and report data. Data from the reaction is stored and can be shown in a report (PDF form) including a trace from a UV sensor (if fitted) for the product captured in each vial on a fraction collector.


Easy and Rapid Reaction Scaleup


Because the independent variables (residence time, not flow rate, for example) can be specified, a reaction that has been saved with Flow Commander ™ can easily be re-used later with a larger reactor, which results in increased rate of output but exactly the same reaction conditions.

Good reaction scaleup (and in fact all reproducibility)  depends on accurate temperature and flow measurement, which the Vapourtec R Series system excels at. 

Flow measurement is particularly important  -  Click here for more details of the Vapourtec pump monitoring capability and why it is essential.


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