Hebei Lansheng Biotech Co., Ltd. ShangHai Yuelian Biotech Co., Ltd.

Eastlake High-Tech: Application of microreaction, continuous flow technologies to improve quality of plant growth regulatorsqrcode

Mar. 17, 2023

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Mar. 17, 2023

Editor:Mickey Shan


Feature : Showcase of China’s ″Specialized and Novel″ crop protection products/technologies/applications


▋ Special sponsor: Lansheng Biotechy 23031697700.png

▋ A total of 11 enterprises are introduced in this series; The Feature was first published in the latest "2023 China Pesticide Industry Watch" 

The overall industrial upgrading of Chinese manufacture industry happens to coincides with the unprecedented changes in the last 100 years. 

In this new era full of opportunities and policy support, the Chinese pesticide enterprises have worked hard to achieve constant technical breakthroughs via innovation and upgrading, as based on the experiences gained in the past decades. Some enterprises have so far made preliminary achievements, having formed an advanced and sophisticated technology and product cluster. 

In this Feature, we have selected 11 Chinese pesticide manufacturers that are characterized with professionalism, intensification, specialization and novelty, which is a presentation of Chinese pesticide enterprise’s research and development of new products, breakthroughs in technical innovation, upgrading of type of formulations and continued exploration of applications. The publication will exhibit the achievements in each individual sector, which is internationally advanced, revealing the new competitiveness of Chinese pesticide industry.

▉Series of special topics are released in succession → specially planned by AgroPages

  • Lansheng Biotech:Green chemical innovation drives fine chemical production to reach a new level

  • Eastlake High-Tech: Application of microreaction, continuous flow technologies to improve quality of plant growth regulators

  • Qilu, industry leader of high quality spinosad

  • KingAgroot – Innovative flagship integrating compound creation and biotechnical breeding

  • CAC Nantong: Cyproflanilide, a created novel insecticide with unique action mechanism

  • Yonon: Production of L-glufosinate on multienzyme

  • Lier Chemical: 20,000-ton L-glufosinate production capacity to start running soon

  • Red Sun: Diquat dichloride aims to create new burndown herbicide market trend

  • Fosetyl-aluminium: Focusing on European wine grape market, Limin’s product concept upgraded

  • Pilarbio: Working imaginatively on CS – an innovative cutting-edge formulation

  • Chengdu New Sun: Making breakthroughs in industrialized application of plant growth regulation coronatine, first time in the world

 Eastlake High-Tech: Application of microreaction, continuous flow technologies to improve quality of plant growth regulators 


Under the current background of "dual control of energy consumption" and "energy conservation and carbon reduction", safety and environmental protection are becoming increasingly stringent, which puts forward both opportunities and challenges for the Chinese agrochemical industry and the everlasting topics such as how to generate greater product value despite limited energy and resources.


Ethephon is a major highly-efficient, low-toxic and broad-spectrum plant growth regulator. The national standard for ethephon is a content of 89% while the FAO standard is 91%. At present, the traditional batch production processes of ethephon bring problems such as insufficient production efficiency. Upgrading equipment and improving the production process remains a global priority.


Microchannel reaction equipment and the related continuous flow reaction technologies are currently hot topics within the chemical engineering industry sector. So far, microchannel reactors are more often used for small-scale and pilot-scale research and development purposes. As the scale up of microchannel process is restrained by mass transfer techniques, heat transfer and engineering, it is difficult to scale up the microchannel reaction flux, resulting in less applications in industrialized production. The 10,000-ton-level high-flux production by the microchannel reactor is still a gap to be filled up in both local and international industrialized production.



Over the years, Shaoxing Eastlake Hi-Tech Co., Ltd has been committed to the development and application of continuous flow technology, such as micro-reaction technology, having developed technologies for use in new scenarios. For more than 10 years, the company has been researching continuous flow technology, having achieved clean production and resource utilization during the production of ethephon. As a result, the company made an innovative achievement, which is a research program, entitled, ″Continuous flow technology -based ethephon green process development and production industrialization,″ that passed the technical achievement evaluation conducted by China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF) in May 2022. The evaluation committee decided that the overall technical level of this technical achievement has reached an internationally advanced level, stating that the research program created ethephon’s microchannel continuous flow technology, which is an overall upgrade in the production process of ethephon. The research program won the First Prize of the Pesticide Innovation Contribution Award of the 15th China Crop Protection Industry Association (CCPIA).


Innovations of the research program:


1.    Researching continuous flow technology and developing the high-flux matrix reactor. During the program’s early stage and using imported single channel equipment from Ehrfeld, Germany, single-channel and multi-channel technologies were developed, which resulted in the formation of several-hundred-channel microchannel reactors, realizing the industrial application of the world’s largest microchannel reactor. Its overall technical level is world-class.


2.    Development of the Ethephon microchannel continuous flow technology. In light of the difficulties that exist in the process of ethephon reaction, such as major heat release, unsatisfactory mass transfer and heat transfer, long reaction time, lower content of product and difficulty in post-treatment for separation, the research program developed a number of key technologies. The research program enables continuous production based on the ethephon microchannel for the first time in the world. The total content and yield of ethephon have been greatly improved, reaching the international leading level.



The research program has authorized two invention patents globally, one invention patent in the US, one invention patent in the EU, 12 invention patents in China and three utility model patents in China.


Features of the research program:


1.    High safety and good economic benefits. Compared with traditional technology, with just one single microchannel reactor, the new technology can supersede 52 sets of traditional reactors; the waste amount and safety risks are significantly reduced while the economic benefits are significantly increased.


2.    Excellent energy saving and emission reduction effects. Compared with traditional technology, waste gas (VOC) emission and wastewater discharge are greatly decreased, energy consumption is greatly reduced, reaction time is shortened from several hours to several minutes, which is a geometrical decrease.


3.    The technical level is world-class. Currently, the application of microreaction technology has become a hot research topic within the global chemical industry. Ehrfeld Mikrotechnik GmbH is the first international, high-tech company to commercialize microreactor technology, being a pioneer and leader in the global microreaction industry sector. In 2017, Shaoxing Eastlake Hi-Tech Co., Ltd., seized the opportunity to acquire Ehrfeld, therefore, obtaining the world’s leading microreaction technology and application-related research, development and equipment manufacture capabilities. 


4.    Wide prospects for promotion and application. Microreaction technology can be widely used in organic synthesis reaction, as well as producing micro-nano materials and daily chemicals, especially to improve highly dangerous traditional chemical processes, providing considerable economic and social value. Due to its many advantages, microreaction technology can fundamentally propose solutions to solve the series of problems in traditional chemical industries, such as those related to work safety and resource consumption.

This article was initially published in AgroPages' 2023 China Pesticide Industry Watch magazine.



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