Numbering-up of capillary microreactors for homogeneous processes and its application in free radical polymerization†
Microreactor technology has gained considerable attention and found its applications in various fields. However, it has not been extensively adopted in the chemical industry due to its throughput limitation. Based on a convenient numbering-up strategy, we assembled different numbered-up capillary microreactor systems with commercially available parts for homogeneous processes. The effects of different factors such as the flow rate, the length and inner diameter of the capillary, and the fluid viscosity on the flow distribution performance of these systems were systematically evaluated. Then, dimensionless variables regarding these factors were constructed and statistical analysis was performed in order to offer a good prediction for the flow distribution performance. Furthermore, the polymerization of butyl acrylate (BA) was carried out in these numbered-up systems, and their performance was compared in terms of yields, molecular weights and PDIs, which demonstrated the feasibility of this numbering-up strategy for the processes with significant variation of fluid properties.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Reaction Chemistry & Engineering Emerging Investigators