Büchi Glas Uster - Glass Reactor

Buchi AG is a leading manufacturer of Glass reactors for the chemical industry.

Chemical Research laboratories as well as Pharmaceutical process technology use Borosilicate Glass due to several reasons:

  • wide operational temperature range
  • very low thermal expansion (linear over a wide temperature range)
  • easy to clean the complete chemical or pharmaceutical reaction unit due to its hydrophobic characteristics
  • inert attitude is another important factor
  • resistance against most chemicals, acids
  • transparency, allowing the visual process control

These are the main reasons for the use of Borosilicate glass for chemical process equipment, typically in Pilot Plants of fine chemical and Pharmaceutical companies or as pressure reactors for a wide range of chemical research.

Glass reactors

Glass pressure reactors or stirred Lab autoclaves are mainly used in chemical research. Glass pressure reactors are corrosion resistant and allow the chemist to visually observe the reaction. Safety measures are integrated in the systems to allow safe operation under pressure.

Our Pressure Reactor systems allow the use of different reactor vessels within the same unit, they are interchangeable against metal vessels (pressure ratings > 12bar), if needed with sight glass.

Glass reactors for vacuum applications allow operation at low overpressures.
The permitted pressure is defined by the vessel diameter. They are used as stand alone reactors or complete Plants for reactions of multiple process steps.

Borosilicate glass was developed in 1887 by Otto Schott and Ernest Abbe in Jena Germany. It is also known by its brand names such as:

  • Schott Glas, Jena Glass
  • Pyrex
  • Duran

Glass reactor systems provide several advantages and can be used as Lab Research reactors, being used often under full vacuum and up to low overpressure of up to12 bar against the atmosphere or as chemical process plant for multiple chemical process steps in a sealed environment under full vacuum, completely isolated from the atmosphere.

In Pilot Plants, glass reactors are often combined with other process equipment in glass, such as glass nutsch filters, glass exhaust gas scrubbers, as well as mixing vessels for process steps before charging / discharging of the multipurpose reactor system. Smaller and compact multipurpose glass reactors are also called miniplant or pilot reactors.

Glass Reactors in Pilot Plant or kilolabs, used for the cGMP manufacturing of API’s or intermediates feature high performance design due to reactor design and (jacketed glass lined Reactor bottom heating section) materials as used in the large chemical production scale.

Complete glass- or Pilot Plant Reactor systems such as our chemReactors consist of a glass- or (glass lined steel reactor) reactor with glass piping and distillation glass overhead. To keep the chemical process isolated from the surrounding and under full vacuum, all glass connections must be fully vacuum tight and flexible, what can be easily achieved by our unique flexible «büchiflex» connection. This connection is part out of many safety measures, which are to be considered for safe operation of glass reactors for chemical processes under full up to low pressure.

Reactor systems from 250 liters up to 4000 liters in kilo labs use glass lined steel reactors with glass distillation overhead: Such large glass reactors cannot be produced as full glass reactors and glass lined steel reactors for that scale offer higher safety. The distillation glass overheads with components up to DN 600 are mainly customized setups for specific applications. For such units, we offer specific engineering services.

Pressure systems

Metal-free pressure reactors:

«miniclave inert»
inert versions of «polyclave», «ecoclave», «kiloclave»

Glass-/metal pressure reactors:


Glass Reactpors for Pilot Plants

«minipilot» 5 – 15 liter Pilot Reactor
«midipilot» 20 - 30 liter Pilot Reactor
«chemReactors»  (BR/GR type) 15 - 60 liters Glass reactors systems
«chemReactors»  (CR type) 15 – 250 liter Glass / Glass lined steel reactor systems or Pharma Reactors
Glass Reactors and mixing vessel with 10 to 200 liter reactor volumes