Corning Advances Flow Reactor Technology For Industrial Chemical Production

Corning expands portfolio to include G5 reactor for large-scale industrial production

CORNING, N.Y. –– Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) today announced a significant advancement in its flow reactor technology with the expansion of its portfolio to include the G5 reactor for inherently safer, large-scale industrial production of chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Zhejiang Weihua New Materials Co., Ltd., in collaboration with Corning Advanced-Flow Reactor Technology Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Hybrid-Chem Technology Co., Ltd., recently achieved 10,000 metric tons annual throughput of agrochemicals using Corning’s G5 reactor. This represents the highest production capacity achieved to-date using Corning® Advanced-Flow Reactor (AFR) Technology on a single production line and marks the first use of Corning’s G5 reactor in industrial production.

AFR technology is an inherently safer technology, enabling the reduced risk of explosion while driving higher-quality chemical processing. Additional benefits include energy savings, increased efficiency of chemical synthesis, lower production costs, and reduced environmental impact.

“As a leading global provider of flow reactor technologies for both lab and industrial settings, we are always innovating and advancing technology,” said Dr. Yi Jiang, president and general manager, Corning Advanced-Flow Reactor Technology Co., Ltd. “Our G5 reactor is the latest example. It offers substantial flow throughput per reactor while maintaining the seamless scale-up standards of our other industrial reactors.”

Zhejiang Weihua New Materials Co., Ltd. specializes in the research, development, and production of chemicals for global pesticide and pharmaceutical enterprises and is currently operating two continuous production lines using Corning’s G5 reactors. The lines have been running steadily since November 2019 with all key performance indicators achieving targets, which include:

  • Continuously stable production with diazotization and hydrolysis reactions
  • Seamlessly scaled-up process from G1 reactor to G5 reactor
  • Significantly higher yield, less waste, and improved profits
  • Inherently safer operations, reduced liquid holding capacity of diazotization and hydrolysis reaction by 99.99% and 96.47% respectively
  • Significantly reduced manufacturing footprint and on-site operation labor force that leads to lower capital expenditure and operating costs

“It was amazing to witness the transition from our old workshop with nine large batch reactor vessels to our new integrated system composed of G5 reactors,” said Dr. Qiangbiao Pan, general manager, Zhejiang Weihua New Materials Co., Ltd. “The start-up process was smooth and quick, and the continuous flow process Shanghai Hybrid-Chem Technology Co., Ltd. developed was highly effective and unique. We appreciate the ‘win-win’ collaboration between Corning, Hybrid-Chem, and Weihua that made this project a success. It has provided us with valuable experience that we can apply to our future continuous production projects.”

Compared with traditional batch reactors, Corning’s reactors enable at least 100 times enhanced mixing; 1,000 times improved heat transfer performance; and seamless, efficient scale-up from the lab to full-scale production of chemicals for the pharmaceutical, specialty, and fine chemical industries.

Shanghai Hybrid-Chem Technology Co., Ltd. is an innovative start-up specializing in continuous flow process development for clients using Corning AFR Technology and other flow chemistry tools. They were also the first Corning Reactor Application Qualified Lab (AQL) in China, providing feasibility testing, process development, and industrial project services based on AFR products.

“Corning’s unique modular process development and large-scale production platform proved to be critical in the timely delivery and successful operation of this project,” said Dr. Bing Ma, founder and general manager, Shanghai Hybrid-Chem Technology Co., Ltd. “The ability to seamlessly scale-up our team’s process developed in Corning’s G1 reactor to industrial production in the G5 reactors installed at Weihua significantly mitigated delivery and investment risks for this project.”

Corning provides cost-effective solutions for continuous industrial production, meeting customer requirements for large production capacity, multi-function, flexibility, and profitability with its portfolio of industrial reactors. Over the past several years, Corning has implemented four other large-scale continuous manufacturing processes with annual throughputs ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 metric tons. These systems have all demonstrated seamless scale-up and maintained inherently safer, stable operation.

Corning continues to collaborate with customers across the pharmaceutical, chemical, and new materials manufacturing industries, and has installed more than 60 industrial production lines across Asia, Europe, and the United States.

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Corning ( is one of the world's leading innovators in materials science, with a 169-year track record of life-changing inventions. Corning applies its unparalleled expertise in glass science, ceramic science, and optical physics along with its deep manufacturing and engineering capabilities to develop category-defining products that transform industries and enhance people's lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in RD&E, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and deep, trust-based relationships with customers who are global leaders in their industries. Corning's capabilities are versatile and synergistic, which allows the company to evolve to meet changing market needs, while also helping our customers capture new opportunities in dynamic industries. Today, Corning's markets include mobile consumer electronics, optical communications, automotive technologies, life sciences technologies, and display technologies.