Questions about flow chemistry and microreactors in general
A: Microreactors are devices in which mixing and/or chemical reactions take place. Inside microreactors, small channels and other flow guiding geometries are present, generally having small lateral dimensions (<1mm), resulting in an improved temperature control and reduced mass transfer limitations. Therefore, microreactors are ideal for fast and exothermic chemical reactions.
Flow chemistry offers a new set of tools for the synthetic chemist, being complementary to conventional batch techniques. Benefits and advantages include:
• Improved control over process parameters in a straightforward fashion.
• A new range of process conditions available: sub second reaction times, easy operation above solvent boiling point.
• Enhanced safety for production of chemical compounds
• Less chemical waste and less consumption of precious starting compounds
Questions about flow chemistry’s suitability for your application
A: The two main requirements are full dissolution and speed: no solid particles must be present in the reaction mixture, and we recommend a maximum reaction time of 20 minutes for FlowStart FlowStart Evo.
Q: Many reaction, such as e.g. the Clemmenson reduction, require solid particles. Are your microreactors suitable for such reactions? And is precipitation a problem for your microreactors?
A: Flow chemistry in general is mostly performed in solutions without any solid particles, because particles can cause clogging (fouling) of all parts of the system, in particular of the reactor. However, in some cases the reactor can handle very small particles during the quench phase. In some cases flowchemistry is used for producing of solid particles such as nano particles
A: That is certainly possible with for example the Gas Module. Please contact us to discuss about regulating the gas flows and what infrastructure is already in place at your location.
A: We have a wide range of standard micoreactors available, covering most applications. However, if your application is not covered, we can design any reactor for your specific needs.
A: You can find a list of references in our section for patents and publications.
A: Yes, enzymatic reactions can be carried out with flow chemistry. For example, the enzymatic cyanohydrins formation is known to work excellently in our microreactors.
For more detailed information see: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bit.21649
Q: My chemical reaction is not in the list. How do I know that my chemical process in suited for flow chemistry?
A: Simply by getting in contact with us, so we can help you further.
Q:1. Some chemical reactions produce gasses as a by-product. Is the FlowStart Evo suited for such reactions?
A: If gasses emerge from solution, the effective reactor volume is reduced, resulting in a decreased total reaction time accordingly. Although this is not always a problem, it can be prevented by increasing the back pressure of the complete system by using a back pressure regulator.
Questions about how to use flow chemistry
A: Generally, this is the most difficult and time-consuming phase in implementing flow chemistry. FutureChemistry has a combined flow chemistry experience of over 10 years, and is happy to assist you in this process.
A: For general flow chemistry purposes, quenching is not required. However, when optimising a chemical reaction, reaction time is one the most important parameters. To control the reaction time during an optimisation process, it needs to be stopped after the desired reaction time. The method of quenching very much depends on the reagents used, but the general strategy is destroying the reagent. Contact us for advice.
A: Any conventional analysis technique can be used. The product flow is collected in any vessel of choice, after which the mixture is worked up and analysed as required for you specific reaction. Currently we are developing an integrated phase separation utility. Please subscribe for the newsletter to stay updated about this and other developments.
A: It is generally known that scaling up using conventional methods is a laborious and time-consuming process. We can ensure you that by using our microreactor technology you can drastically decrease this process in time.
Still, scaling up chemical processes is not easy. For this we collaborate with other companies unified in the consortium Access2Flow. In this way we can guarantee the best support and guidance for the translation from traditional laboratory batch synthesis, to full continuous flow processes both on micro and macro-scale.
Questions about our products
A: We do have systems available for rent, under certain conditions. Please contact us to discuss rental and your application.
Q: Can I also connect two or multiple FlowStarts in order to conduct multistep reactions under various conditions?
A: Sure, again this is one of the advantages our microreactor technology has to offer. An alternative would be to use a special microreactor with multiple reaction stages.