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 be able to make things a lot simpler, the pumps move the fluid in the tube and when the tube joins in each other, the fluids then make a connection. If the fluids are reactive for instance, there is going to be a spike in reaction.

Flow chemistry is well established and known technique for use at big scale when trying to manufacture huge quantities of given material. On the other hand, the term has been coined just recently for the application on laboratory scale. Micro reactors are more often than not being used.

Continuous reactors are also manufactured by using non reactive material such as glass, stainless steel and polymer and also, mostly tube-like. When it comes to the method of mixing, it can be either of the two, static mixers or diffusion. With continuous processing, this is able to make good control on reaction condition that includes the heat transfer, time and mixing.

Residence time of the reagents in reactor or simply the amount of time that the reaction needed to cool or heat is observed from the reactor’s volume and at the same time, by checking 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. Know the different advantages of flow production.

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. Now for the aspirator reactor, there’s a pump that’s used in order to propel the reagent that is going to suck the reactant in.

When it comes to process development experiments, using smaller scale of micro flow reactors or micro reactors are just perfect. Even though, it is feasible to operate flow chemistry at ton scale, the synthetic efficiency benefits from the mass transfer and improved thermal as well as mass transport. To learn more about flow chemistry, visit

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. There is usually a plant setup in the lab to which the tool is meant for both. Be it non commercial or commercial setting, this set up can be useful.

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.


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