Reaction scale-up using flow chemistry

Reaction scale-up using flow chemistry


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  • Source: Microbioz India

  • Date: 16 Nov,2023

Flow chemistry, also known as continuous flow chemistry or microreactor chemistry, is an excellent method for reaction profiling and optimisation, particularly prior to scale up. Using this popular synthetic technique – reagents are combined in a T- piece  mixer which allows diffusion across a short distance and promotes rapid and controlled mixing. The resulting laminar flow provides for excellent reproducibility. The reactions take place in microchannels which promote excellent heat and mass transfer.

FlowSyn Maxi™ high throughput flow reactor

The high reproducibility of results, coupled with short processing times in continuous flow chemistry, allows rapid exploration of a range of reaction conditions, making flow chemistry an idea research tool.

Other benefits of flow chemistry over traditional batch chemistry systems include:

  1. Higher reaction yields.
  2. Better selectivity.
  3. Readily scalable.
  4. Improved efficiency – time and materials.
  5. Reduced handling of hazardous materials

One of the major benefits of flow chemistry is seamless scale-up without re-optimisation. However, output has traditionally been limited to hundreds of grams per day.

PhotoSyn™ photoreactor

Using FlowSyn MAXI high throughput flow reactor from Uniqsis, chemists are now able to scale up syntheses from grams to many kilograms in a day by utilising high flow rate pumps and large-scale coil reactors up to 100ml, with temperature-controlled static mixers essential for some reactions.

Because of benefits including efficient irradiation, high reproducibility, excellent selectivity, and the ability to perform multiphase chemistry – photochemical flow synthesis is a technique gaining popularity for reaction scale-up. With growing recognition of these benefits of photochemistry synthesis, Uniqsis has, over the last few years, introduced a range of high performance photoreactors for use with its flow chemistry systems.

The Uniqsis PhotoSyn™ photoreactor eliminates problems associated with traditional batch methods enabling synthetic chemists to routinely scale-up their photochemistry reactions from milligrams to several kilograms / day.

The PhotoSyn™ is designed to provide scientists with a high-power LED light source for continuous flow applications. To maximise safety, PhotoSyn™ has been designed to operate without any light leakage, and therefore does not require a tinted or light-tight enclosure.

Safety interlocks are also fitted to prevent the possibility of accidental exposure to high intensity LED light should an attempt be made to remove the PhotoSyn™ from the reactor module whilst in operation.

To learn how the University of Cambridge, UK used a PhotoSyn™ photoreactor to scale-up a photoredox cross coupling of boronic acids reaction with 81% yield please visit

About Uniqsis:

Since 2007, Uniqsis has specialised in the design and supply of mesoscale continuous flow chemistry systems for a wide range of applications in chemical and pharmaceutical research. The company’s aim is to make flow chemistry easily accessible to both novices and experienced users.

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