Scale-up of micro- and milli-reactors: An overview of strategies, design principles and applications

Zhengya Dong, Zhenghui Wen, Fang Zhao, Simon Kuhn, Timothy Noël (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Continuous-flow microreactor technology has been embraced by researchers in academia and industry due to its excellent transport properties and the increased safety and control over challenging chemical transformations. Despite its popularity, scaling the benefits associated with the microenvironment has proven to be a daunting challenge. This review provides an up-to-date overview concerning the different scale-up approaches of micro/milli-reactors, including numbering up (both internal and external), sizing up (increasing length, geometry similarity and constant pressure drop strategies) and a combination of numbering up and sizing up. The strategies, design principles and applications of each approach have been discussed in detail. Each scale-up approach has its merits and limitations. However, scale-up factors, that are required in the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industry, are within reach when different scale-up approaches are combined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100097
Number of pages32
JournalChemical Engineering Science: X
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
T.N. and Z. D. are grateful to receive funding from the European Union for the FETopen project FLIX (Grant No. 862179). Z.D. would like to thank Yuchao Zhang (Birdo Shanghai Pharmatech Co., Ltd) for useful discussions, and acknowledges funding from Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Grant No. 2011009). Z.W. acknowledges support from the China Scholarship Council (CSC). T.N. and F. Z. would like to thank the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) for a VIDI grant (SensPhotoFlow, Grant No. 14150). S. K. acknowledges funding from the Flemish Science Foundation (FWO).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Continuous manufacturing
  • Flow Chemistry
  • Microreactor
  • Millireactor
  • Numbering up
  • Scale up
  • Sizing up


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