Performing reduction chemistry using lithium aluminum hydride always requires caution. Conducting the same under a flow condition adds more to that challenge. From moving a thick slurry of the highly reactive hydride reagent to taming possible thermal runaway conditions, the hazard and the risk remained the primary concern. But Prof. Michael Organ of the University of Ottawa saw the benefits buried deep beneath obvious engineering challenges. Partnering with a Canadian fine chemical manufacturing specialist, the uOttawa team pioneered a safe and agile process for the synthesis of a key diagnostic ingredient for SARS-COV-2. It's a perfect way to demonstrate how academia can give back to society a commodity essential towards fighting a global pandemic.
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