What Is Flow Chemistry?
When talking about flow chemistry, this is a chemical reaction that runs in continuous flow stream rather than 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. On the other hand, the term has been coined just recently for the application on laboratory scale. More often than not, micro-reactors are put into used.
Continuous reactors are manufactured using non reactive material similar to glass, polymers and stainless steel and typically tube-like. The mixing methods may include diffusion as well as static mixers. The continuous flow reactors create good control on the reaction condition which include time, mixing and heat transfer.
Residence time for the reagent in the reactor or amount of time wherein the reaction is cooled or heated is checked from the volume of reactor and the 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.
The production rates on the other hand will not be constant and it varies from liters per minute to nano-liters per minute.
The spinning tube reactors, Colin Ramshaw, oscillatory flow reactors, multi cell flow reactors, aspirator reactors, microreactors and hex reactors are only some of the flow reactors being used. When talking about aspirator reactor, pumps are used in propelling one reagent that will then suck the reactant.
When it comes to process development experiments, using smaller scale of micro flow reactors or micro reactors are just perfect. 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 flow chemistry, this changes to parallel approach where chemist and the chemical engineer is working interactively. In addition to that, there is a plant setup in which there is a tool designed for it. 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.