Shimadzu Acquires Microreactor Business from Activated Research Company in the U.S. Strengthens competitiveness in the GX area of gas chromatography


Shimadzu Corporation acquired the catalytic microreactor business for gas chromatography (GC) from Activated Research Company, LLC (ARC, Minnesota, USA).

In the Green Transformation (GX) area, many studies are in progress on the shift towards carbon-neutral (net zero greenhouse gas emissions) through new energy sources, such as hydrogen and biofuels, and on the capture and utilization of carbon dioxide (CO2). This has led to an increase in the demand for GCs to evaluate and analyze these compounds. However, research into new technologies in the GX area requires multiple GC detectors for each component to be measured, which tends to complicate the instrument configuration of the GC system. In addition, dedicated detectors have been used for high-sensitivity analysis of inorganic gases, but these require helium gas, which is unstable and expensive to supply. The microreactor is a compact catalytic reactor that analyzes compounds like CO2 via methane formation (CH4). Such compounds were previously challenging to analyze using common GC detectors like FID. Combined with an FID, it easily achieves high sensitivity in analysis, simplifies the systems, and reduces operating costs.

ARC is a research and development startup based in North America with excellent technical skills and manufacturing know-how for producing the catalytic microreactor for GC. ARC has been in a business relationship with us since 2016. Shimadzu will acquire multiple assets from ARC, including related patents, manufacturing expertise, and sales rights to existing customers for two microreactor products (Jetanizer and Polyarc). Sales are expected to start in 2024, with in-house production of microreactor products beginning in 2025. The Jetanizer is a microreactor of a size that can be introduced into the FID. Using Jetanizer, the simultaneous analysis of the greenhouse gases CO2 and CH4 can now be performed with only an FID detector and without helium gas compared to dedicated detectors. In addition to the features of Jetanizer, the combination of FID and another microreactor, Polyarc, enables highly sensitive and accurate determination of components such as fatty acid methyl esters and oxygen-containing components in biofuels, formic acid, which is expected to be used as a clean chemical raw material.

Left: Jetanizer Right: Mounted in the jet part of the FID inside

Left: Jetanizer Right: Mounted in the jet part of the FID inside

Left: Polyarc Right: Connection diagram of each unit

Left: Polyarc Right: Connection diagram of each unit


With the acquisition of this business, we will realize the expansion of microreactor production and quality improvement. We will strengthen the lineup of GC systems that combine GC and microreactors and provide comprehensive after-sales support. In particular, we will provide global products and services by utilizing our group sales channels for our customers engaged in research in the GX field. In addition, as an example of our activities to promote the industry introduction of analytical methods using microreactors, we will also encourage analytical standardization at the American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM International), the world's largest industry standardization organization. Through these activities, we will continue collaborating with various companies and consider acquiring other technologies to expand our sales in the GX area as a significant focus of Shimadzu’s mid-term management plan.


Shimadzu and ARC staff


From the left is Dr. Andrew Jones, CEO, ARC;
Ryo Takechi, Global Product Manager of GC, Shimadzu;
Alan Owens, Product Manager of GC/GCMS, Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, at Pittcon 2024 in San Diego, CA, USA.

Outline of ARC

Company name Activated Research Company, LLC
CEO Dr. Andrew Jones
Location 7561 Corporate Way, Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Established 2014