Development of new chemical reactor will have a significant impact on major UK supply chains
Runcorn-based AM Technology has secured funding from the UK Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) and private investors after developing a new chemical reactor that it believes will have a significant impact on major UK supply chains.
In a consortium bid with specialist control and automation company Autico, AM Technology secured an initial offer of £2.2m from the AMSCI fund, which enabled the two companies to raise a further £1.75m from private investors.
The investment will fund the R&D activity required for AM Technology to engineer a patented chemical flow reactor on a large scale from testing facilities in Runcorn, while Autico will develop the software for a new process control system that will operate the reactors.
High global demand for the product is expected, with a projected turnover of £25m by year 5, increasing to £260m by year 10. A significant number of new jobs will also be created over the course of the next five years, with the current six jobs rising to an estimated 46 within the supply chain, with 10 directly funded by the project.
The new flow reactors developed by AM Technology will provide an alternative to existing batch reactors, which still heavily dominate incumbent technology for manufacturing chemicals. In comparison, flow reactors process chemicals continuously and offer substantial advantages in terms of lower capital expenditure and operating costs, according to AM Technology.
\'The market for flow reactors is growing rapidly as chemical manufacturers look for ways to address the demands of global competition and increasingly tough regulatory requirements,\' explained Robert Ashe, Director of AM Technology and co-founder of the company. \'The patented Coflore technology provides an effective solution for common types of process that have proved difficult to operate in flow reactors, with applications in a wide range of industrial sectors including fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, foods and fuels.
\'The benefits of using the new Coflore reactors vary according to application but typically include improved quality and yield, reduced pollution, and a lower carbon footprint.\'
AM Technology has already secured major contracts across the globe, exporting to countries including Japan, USA and India, as well as the rest of Europe.
\'The funding from AMSCI has enabled us to keep the development of this project within the UK and will make a significant contribution to establishing the UK as a global leader in the field,\' added Ashe. \'I’m delighted to finally have the funding we need to commercialise it on a large scale from our test facilities in Runcorn.\'