Prof Dr J (Koos) F van Staden, Director
Process Analytical Technology Laboratory (PATLAB)
Welcome to PATLAB, the Process Analytical Technology Laboratory in Bucharest, Romania of INCEMC, the National Institute of Research and Development for Electrochemistry and Condensed Matter. Process Analytical Technology (PAT) is the application of Analytical Science in its broadest sense to monitor and control any activity also called operating systems (or processes) as a global entity (in totality) in real-time. Micro Process Analytical Technology (MPAT) implies the study and application of PAT with all the available sources and modern microsystems technology. Nano Process Analytical Technology (NPAT) implies the study and application of PAT with all the available sources and modern technology on a nano- and even atomic scale. The US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) viewpoint on PAT is that PAT is a system for designing, analyzing and controlling manufacturing through timely measurements of critically quality and performance attributes of raw and in-process materials and processes with the goal of ensuring final product quality. My main aim with the PATLAB project is to integrate various strategies in different topics (using various disciplines that is chemistry, physics, statistics, mathematics, chemometrics, engineering, biosciences, biotechnology, computer and information sciences with data acquisition, processing and transfer and automatic feedback process control strategies with intelligence interactive management and control) into a global workable system that can be practically implemented and applied in the different real practical world of any activity or operating system (or of multiple activities or multiple operating systems with multi-point multi-species real-time measurements). The activity domain of PATLAB is based on research and development of process systems for intelligence interactive monitoring and control and small scale synthesis with advantages of the technology and applications in informatics, industries (oil, gas, petroleum, chemical, mining, pharmaceutical, food, beverages, textile e.g. clothes, surfactants, cosmetics, etc.), water, pollution, energy, environment, health, agriculture (fertilizers, animal feedstuffs, soil, herbicides, insecticides, farm products etc.), quality of food and beverages, biotechnologies, innovative products and processes, construction materials (bricks, cement, tiles, wooden materials, paints etc.), household appliances and consumer products, entertainment (ink, paper, polymer films, liquid crystals, electronic chemicals etc.), transport, space and security.
PATLAB aims for example to have as results:
- High-quality river water throughout Romania directly suitable for use in farm irrigation;
- Production of high-quality water for drinking purposes;
- better and faster analysis and control on pollution (this package actually include the full environmental scenario – water, air, soil etc-);
- better and faster monitoring of patients, especially high risk patients (some terminal) with high risk deceases;
- processing of high-quality agricultural products and food; from food industries with better and faster control on food additives, preservatives, colorants preventing distribution of food containing high risks content and contaminants;
- Efficient cost control (with possible lower future costs) in the production of petroleum products, fine chemicals, mining; and
- The quality of pharmaceutical products.
In this regard new technologies (including new theoretical foundations and nanotechnologies) with PATLAB instrumentation on flow-based process monitoring and flow-based synthesis, and on non-flow-based (discrete or batch-wise or semi-flow or conveyer belt type) systems, microfluidics, rotating disc nanotechnology, dot sensors, multiple sensor devices, separation techniques, chromatography (gas, ionic and liquid), capillary electrophoresis, imaging with spectrometric, fluorescence, chemiluminescence, chemical and optical sensors and biosensors as detectors will be developed and implemented.
I hope that PATLAB will serve as a source for National and International collaboration on research, development and implementation of new technology (nanotechnology included); that industries, academic and research institutions, and Government agencies will become involved in multidisciplinary participation and I would like to attract and welcome more young researchers which will work in PATLAB with these instrumentation of high quality, will integrate in the research team, and will specialize in various aspects of process analytical technology.