How does flow chemistry work?

Ask a chemistCategory: Flow chemistryHow does flow chemistry work?
Michelle asked 5 years ago

I’ve heard of flow chemistry but I don’t really understand how it works? How is it different to traditional chemistry?

1 Answers
Andrew Mansfield Staff answered 5 years ago

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for the question!

Though it goes by a number of names – “plug flow chemistry”, “microchemistry”, and “continuous flow chemistry” – the principles of flow chemistry are the same.

Flow chemistry is the process of performing chemical reactions in a tube, capillary or microstructured device (a flow reactor). Reactive components are pumped first through a mixing device (e.g. a t-junction or a static mixer) and then flowed down a temperature-controlled flow reactor. It’s a radically different approach from the traditional chemistry method of performing reactions in glass flasks or jacketed reactors.

We’ve written an entire blog post explaining in detail what flow chemistry is and how it works – read it here!