Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)
for Chemical Reaction Monitoring,
Research and Teaching in Indonesia

As one of the leading academic institutions in Indonesia, the Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) purchased a Spinsolve Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)  bench top system to enhance and accelerate the research in chemistry. In addition to the outstanding technical specifications (the system measures a resolution 0.4Hz at the chloroform resonance), the reaction monitoring capabilities are of particular interest at ITB.  At the end of September 2016, as part of the technical training, ITB used a peristaltic pump with approx. 1m of PTFE tubing to show the feasibility of flow NMR with the Spinsolve Proton NMR system.
A unique feature of these type of instrument is the magnet. The Halbach design allows a "through hole" setup and therefore a regular PTFE tube can easily be attached to the system. The system is simply lifted onto two wooden blocks (approx. 6x6x50 cm3) and connected to the pump with the PTFE tubing at the bottom of the magnet. The other end of the hose is immersed in the chemical solution of the reactor vessel at the top of the Spinsolve system.

Fig. 1
Easy Experimental Setup with Peristaltic Pump

When the pump is switched on, the solution travels from the reactor through the magnet to the outlet container which is placed on the other side of the pump. To test the system we have run regular tap water through the magnet and checked the shimming condition. The flow rate was confirmed by letting air into the system and clocking the time to see the NMR signal disappear. Ethanol was added to the reactor vessel and with the known flow rate we predicted the arrival of the EOH proton signals. The simple reaction monitoring protocol allows to sample the NMR signal every 15s.
Fig 2. Flow NMR run with water and ethanol
Fig. 2 Mixing Water and Ethanol
Dr. Didin Mujahidin, a leading scientist at the chemistry department of ITB, noted: "It is great to see the compounds pumped through the magnet and observe the dynamics of the interactions of our synthesized molecules. I never thought it would be so easy to do flow NMR."

"The ability to run flow NMR with such an easy setup is a paradigm shift in chemical reaction monitoring", Peter Sprenger Managing Director of Kruthwong & Sprenger Pte. Ltd. commented. Kruthwong & Sprenger is the Southeast Asia distributor of Magritek's ( Spinsolve product line. He added: "This is a clear advantage of a Benchtop NMR compared to the much larger high field systems. These systems can even be placed in fume hoods or chemical production plants."
To further promote this exciting new field of NMR in Indonesia, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ITB has been signed. Sugia Budiman, Managing Director of PT.Teknolab, the distributor for Indonesia commented: "We are very excited to work together with ITB to bring this type of technology to Indonesia. Now NMR is affordable and easier accessible to chemist in our country. With the reaction monitoring capabilities they can even do more than the expensive high field NMR systems. This can help our researcher to contribute to research and development without spending large amounts of money".
Dr. Didin added: "We are pleased to work together with Kruthwong & Sprenger and PT. Teknolab. We plan to conduct workshops and seminars to bring NMR to every Indonesian chemistry student. We plan to add this technology to our chemistry curriculum. The ease of use and capabilities are simply amazing."

Fig. 3
Prof. Sjamsul Arifin Achmad (4th from left)
Chemistry staff and students at ITB workshop Sept 21, 2016

Professor Sjamsul Arifin Achmad, one of the founding members of the chemistry department at ITB, is excited about the new NMR acquisition: "This is truly a new innovation, students have now easy access to NMR and can screen their samples much more efficiently."