Batch versus Flow Photochemistry: A Revealing Comparison of Yield and Productivity

Luke Elliott, Jonathan Knowles, Paul Koovits, Katie Maskill, Michael Ralph, Guillaume Lejeune, Lee Edwards, Richard Robinson, Ian Clemens, Brian Cox, David Pascoe, Guido Koch, Martin Eberle, Malcolm Berry, Kevin Booker-Milburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The use of flow photochemistry and its apparent superiority over batch has been reported by a number of groups in recent years. To rigorously determine whether flow does indeed have an advantage over batch, a broad range of synthetic photochemical transformations were optimized in both reactor modes and their yields and productivities compared. Surprisingly, yields were essentially identical in all comparative cases. Even more revealing was the observation that the productivity of flow reactors varied very little to that of their batch counterparts when the key reaction parameters were matched. Those with a single layer of fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) had an average productivity 20% lower than that of batch, whereas three-layer reactors were 20% more productive. Finally, the utility of flow chemistry was demonstrated in the scale-up of the ring opening reaction of a potentially explosive [1.1.1] propellane with butane-2,3-dione.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15226-15232
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Volume20
Issue number46
Early online date26 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2014

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