As time went by we obtained larger projects, from major companies, which enabled us to purchase more and larger equipment both new and second hand, often from customers moving site. During this period we further developed our Sandmeyer know-how to produce m-chlorobenzoic acid on a larger scale, and to handle hydrogen peroxide 85% (w/w) on a 30/40 litre per day scale to produce m-chloroperbenzoic.
We also expanded our range of halobenzoic acids and, using a variation of the diazonium chemistry, we synthesised compounds such as 1,3-difluorobenzene (for fluconazole). We were thus able to improve and enlarge our analytical facilities, which in turn opened the way to more valuable business – often on a continuing basis. Customers often shipped their intermediates to us for further processing, which helped eased our cash flow.
At the same time we expanded the production of larger scale custom projects, such as PEG esters for the cosmetics industry – a range of silanes on a multi ton per week scale. This ever closer relationship with major chemical companies fed our development lab with further projects, widening the type of chemistry we undertook. An interesting example is the use of chlorosulphonic acid to synthesise chlorosulphonyl diazonaphthoquinones, used in the lithographic industry, first on a lab scale then on single drum (275 kg) scale. Later as an extension we began to produce a range of compounds used as couplers.