Flash chemistry extensively optimized: High-temperature Swern-Moffatt oxidation in an automated microreactor platform

P.J. Nieuwland, K. Koch, Noud van Harskamp, R. Wehrens, J.C.M. Hest, van, F.P.J.T. Rutjes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The generally accepted benefits of small lateral dimensions of microreactors (1 μm to 1 mm) enable a different way of performing synthetic chemistry: Extremely short contact times in the millisecond range can circumvent the need for performing highly exothermic and fast reactions at very low temperatures. In order to fully exploit this technology, such fast processes need to be redesigned and investigated for optimal reaction conditions, which can differ drastically from the ones traditionally applied. In a comprehensive study, we optimized the selective Swern-Moffatt oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde by varying five experimental parameters, including reaction time and temperature. Employing an ultrashort mixing and reaction time of only 32 ms, the optimal temperature was determined to be 70°C, approximately 150°C higher than in the conventional batch conditions. This remarkable difference shows both the potency of continuousflow chemistry as well as the urgency of a paradigm shift in reaction design for continuous-flow conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-805
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry - An Asian Journal
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Experimental design
  • Flash chemistry
  • Flow chemistry
  • Microreactors
  • Oxidation

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