All About Flow Chemistry
In relation to flow chemistry, this is basically a chemical reaction running in continuous flow stream instead of a batch production. To make it simpler, pumps are moving the fluid into the tube and where the tube joins in one another, fluids get contact to each. If the fluids are reactive for instance, there is going to be a spike in reaction.
Flow chemistry is a known and proven technique to use for big scale projects especially when manufacturing big quantities of given material. The term has been just recently coined for application on laboratory use. Well most of the time, what is used is micro reactors.
In most instances, continuous reactors are tube-like and at the same time, manufactured from polymers, stainless steel as well as glass because they’re known to be non reactive material. When it comes to the method of mixing, it can be either of the two, static mixers or diffusion. Continuous flow reactors are creating good control on reaction condition that includes mixing, heat transfer and time.
The residence time for reagents in reactor or the amount of time to which the reaction is being cooled or heated is being calculated from volume of reactor as well as flow rate through it. For this reason, in an effort to attain longer residence time, the reagents may be pumped slowly and /or bigger volume reactor is put into used.
When it comes to production rates, this can be liters per minute to nano-liters per minute.
Some examples of the flow reactors include the spinning tube reactors, spinning disk reactors, oscillatory flow reactors, multi cell flow reactors, aspirator reactors and hex reactors. In regards to aspirator reactor, a pump is used to propel one reagent that sucks in the reactant.
Smaller scale of the micro-flow reactors or micro reactors could be perfect for process development experiments. But this doesn’t indicate that flow chemistry isn’t able to operate at bigger scale; synthetic productive benefits from mass transfer, mass transport and even improved thermal.
Process development changes from using serial approach to parallel. In regards to batch, the chemist will be working on it first and then, a chemical engineer will follow once they’re done. In the flow chemistry, this is changing to parallel approach where the chemist as well as the chemical engineer will interactively work on it. There is usually a plant setup in the lab to which the tool is meant for both. This particular set up may be used either for non commercial or commercial setting.
It’s feasible as well to run experiments in flow chemistry using more complicated techniques like solid phase chemistries while solid phase reagents, scavengers or catalysts may be used in the solution and be pumped through glass columns.