High-Throughput Experimentation Core Facility

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

High-throughput catalyst synthesis and testing, automated experimental protocols

Areas of expertise

The High-Throughput Experimentation Facility at the Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation (CCRI) houses high-throughput instrumentation from Unchained Labs, parallel pressure reactors from Parr Instrument Company, and associated analytical tools from Agilent.

Expertise in designing and developing screening-specific protocols, data collection and related analysis. Applications include optimization, lead discovery, and mechanistic insight.

CCRI also houses the Flow Chemistry Core Facility.

Research services

Preparation and screening of catalysts in a high-throughput mode, using robotic tools and parallel pressure reactors. Associated anaytical tools that can be accessed by external users include: high-performance liquid chromatography-supercritical fluid chromatography-mass spectrometer (HPLC-SFC-MS ), gas chromatographs-flame ionization detector (GC-FID), ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS), gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS).

Sectors of application
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Forestry and forest-based industries

Specialized Lab



High-Throughput Experimentation Lab

Automated sample processor module located inside a triple drybox

Generates reaction plates for catalyst preparation or evaluation of catalyzed reactions and the execution of experimental protocols


Automated benchtop sample processor

Generates daughter plates for analysis


Screening pressure reactor with gas handling system

Allows for pressurized gas reactions on multi-well plates


Four-position heated orbital shaker 

Allows for pressurized gas reactions on multi-well plates


Supercritical fluid/high-performance liquid chromatograph hybrid (SFC/HPLC) with DAD and MS detectors 

Characterization of reaction products


Gas chromatographs with flame ionization detectors (2)

Characterization of reaction products


Gas chromatograph integrated with a mass spectrometer detector (GC/MS)

Characterization of reaction products


High-performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) with DAD (Diode Array Detector) detector

Characterization of reaction products


Eight-solvent purification system piped directly into drybox

Provides dry solvents for catalyst preparation and testing


Karl-Fischer Titrator

Determines water concentrations in organic solvents


Design and execution software and database with dedicated server

For integrated operation of high-throughput synthesis and evaluation of catalytic reactions. Supports robotic tools, data acquisition and analysis.


Variety of chiral columns for GC/SFC/HPLC instruments

Characterization of asymmetric reaction products

Parallel Pressure Reactors

25 mL Parr Reactors (6), one with auto-sampling and one with manual sampling

Allows for catalyst testing at higher pressures and in-sequence

  • BioAmber
  • EcoSynthetix
  • GreenField Global
  • Lonza
  • National Research Council (NRC)
  • Canada National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT)
  • GreenCentre Canada
  • Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis (CENTC USA)