Thomas Archibald, Ph.D.

 Consultant on Chiral Chemistry and Safe Handling and Scale-up of  highly hazardous and toxic chemicals.


 Hazardous chemicals such as sodium azide and diazomethane are used on industrial scale in the manufacture of drugs and other fine chemicals.   Because of the potential to explode, these chemistries were previously only conducted in companies with explosive manufacturing backgrounds. This creates a high barrier to entry for new companies as the knowledge base is limited to a few experienced practitioners.   Because of the discovery of Click chemistry and the shift of Sartan drug manufacture to Asian manufacturers, the use of azides and other hazardous chemistries has become common in many laboratories and plants where there was previously little understanding of the safety requirements.   Incidents involving azide have increased and unfortunately are rarely reported.  Inherent dangers and best practices are therefore difficult to learn.   

 Until the mid 1990s I worked in the development and manufacture of new explosives.  Then I was involved in converting the chemical business at Aerojet from rockets to pharmaceutical manufacturing.   Since that time I have concentrated on GMP manufacturing of registered stage and active drug substances.   I have experience with both Department of Defense and FDA quality systems and safety analysis.

Simple questions on safety are answered for free by email.  Every chemist has an obligation to ensure that hazardous reactions are run safely.  For more complicated issues, I offer training courses at your site.  These are often combined on consultation on process development, technology transfer, plant design and operation and, where necessary accident investigations.