The national science agency opened its FloWorks Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry in Clayton this week, with chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel and representatives from some SMB partners present.
FloWorks is located within the Australian Manufacturing and Materials Precinct and will provide cutting edge research into flow chemistry capability.
"Flow chemistry is a form of chemical manufacturing that is cleaner, smarter and more efficient," the CSIRO explained. "The benefits of using the flow process include reduced reaction times and plant space, which equate to less energy cost, more efficient processes, reduced waste and a much safer environment."
“The centre provides a collaborative space at the cutting-edge of modern chemistry, where we can work with Australian businesses to improve their processes, cut costs and reduce waste," he said.
“Our world-class researchers at FloWorks can work with partners to update their current chemical processes, including from laboratory discovery to continuous flow production scale; from inefficient batch procedures to continuous processes; and offer in-house training for industrial collaborators on our state-of-the-art flow chemistry equipment."
Dr Finkel said: "One of our greatest challenges is to move to a decarbonised economy, and hydrogen has the potential to play an important role in this transition.
“Maximising the efficiency in both production and use of hydrogen is crucially important. Improvements depend largely on the efficiency of the catalysis. Flow chemistry could be used to improve efficiency, and FloWorks has developed its own catalysis processes in pursuit of this goal.”
Dr Oliver Hutt, director of Business Development at Boron Molecular, which was created more than 20 years ago to commercialise CSIRO science, and now uses flow chemistry at its Melbourne plant to manufacture fine chemicals for Australian and international clients, said: “CSIRO helped us integrate flow chemistry into our operations. We use our unit to develop a number of processes or convert them from batch to flow.
“Examples of the types of technologies we’ve commercialised using flow chemistry include poly-aniline, a high-performance electroactive polymer used in coating applications, and a suite of metal organic frameworks, next-generation high-surface area, porous materials used for applications like gas storage and water treatment.”