Warwick Uni spin-out changes name and launches innovative flow reactor


Stoli Catalysts, the University of Warwick spinout, has changed its name to Stoli Chem ahead of the launch of its ground-breaking SABRe system, a scalable continuous flow reactor providing high-efficiency, precision and control for a wide range of fine chemical production.

The SABRe (Scalable Agitated Baffle Reactor) system is a continuous flow reactor that can handle a huge range of chemical reactions, both catalytic and non-catalytic. Its single flow-through vessel offers the precision control of a batch reactor with the scalability of a continuous flow system, achieving up to 5x space/time yield compared to batch and 10x throughput compared to semi-batch.

Established in 2016 as a spinout from the University of Warwick, Stoli Catalysts – nowStoli Chem – designs and manufactures continuous flow process equipment that aim to dramatically cut the manufacturing cost of fine and speciality chemicals such as fragrances, food supplements, cosmetics and intermediates for pharmaceuticals.

It has considerable expertise and experience in continuous flow chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, characterisation, process development and analytics. Stoli Chem has been recognised with several awards and highly competitive grants over the last few years.

These include a £500k Innovate UK grant and a €1.2M Horizon 2020 SME Instrument grant, participation in the Royal Society of Chemistry Emerging Technologies competition and the award of a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship.

Central to the SABRe’s efficiency is its integrated multiple impeller design with variable speed control from 50 to 5,000 rpm. This ensures excellent mixing and homogenisation of the reaction liquids and gases and efficient heat transfer even at slower flow rates. The mixing and flow rates can be separately controlled to deliver a broad range of residence times to accommodate almost any chemistry. The single flow-through vessel means fewer seals, drives, motors and interconnectors and can operate at up to 20 bar.

“The SABRe system brings together the best of batch and flow systems.” Dr Nikolay Cherkasov, MD of Stoli Chem added. “It decouples mixing and flow rates, giving you precise control to optimise reaction efficiency, quality and productivity. That makes it extremely versatile – a huge range of reactions can be carried out within a system that is much simpler to operate and maintain, uses less energy and generates less waste than alternative methods.”