From circular synthesis to material manufacturing: advances, challenges, and future steps for using flow chemistry in novel application area
Continuous-flow technologies are becoming increasingly relevant in the chemistry field. The vast arrays of reactor design, in terms of structural geometry, mixing, and residence time, the modularity of these systems, adaptable for every application, and the easy downstream integrations are at the basis for their success. Over the past decade, the value and potential of flow technologies became apparent, particularly for drug discovery and drug development. However, other areas of research, which include the circular valorization of waste products and the manufacturing of materials and catalysts, have been less touched by the revolution that miniaturization brings in terms of efficiency, safety, environmental impact, and processability. This review critically evaluates the emerging use of flow technologies in these areas, highlighting recent advances, current challenges, and future directions in the quest for leaner and cleaner processing methods.