Ibuprofen Lab Report

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Ibuprofen, a drug which is cited in the World Health Organisation’s list of essential medicines, is one of the most important non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in today’s world as it has a myriad of applications which range from treating dental pain to relieving the aches and pains caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Recent developments in the world of chemical engineering have led to the fascinating discovery of a three-minute process which employs the use of liquid-liquid separation to synthesise and purify ibuprofen. This revelation is highly significant as the process illustrates various ways in which the restrictions of continuous-flow processing can be overcome. The aim of this investigation was to uncover a method to synthesise ibuprofen…show more content…
It was observed that an absence of methanol did not allow hydrolysis to occur so a mixture of methanol and water was thus added to promote hydrolysis. Upon mixing of the hydrolysis of the trimethyl orthoformate, the ICl quench and the mixture feed, ibuprofen sodium carboxylate was formed with an astonishing residence time of only one minute. This product had a very high yield and it was essential that tubes which had a very narrow inner diameter were utilised in order to bring the reaction to completion and facilitate complete mixing. In addition, an accompanying dangerous pressure rise was not noted when the inner diameter of the tubing was exactly 0.03 inches. This was largely due to the fact that the narrow inner diameter prevented the build-up of sediments which would eventually lead to a restriction in the amount of liquid which could flow. After this hydrolysis, another liquid-liquid separation occurred to obtain ibuprofen with a purity greater than 96 %. The addition of hexane resulted in the further purification of the product and HCl was used to precipitate the ibuprofen out of solution. This purification and synthesis of ibuprofen is both efficient and revolutionary as it utilises readily available reagents, has a practical application and displays how perceived boundaries of continuous-flow processing can be

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