Organic oxidations promoted in vortex driven thin films under continuous flow†
With increasing concerns for the environmental impact of chemical manufacturing, reagents and processes that align with the principles of green chemistry are essential. The fundamental oxidation of organic substrates is no exception and in this report three distinct modes of green oxidation are demonstrated in a vortex fluidic device (VFD) under continuous flow: aerobic oxidation, oxidation using chlorine bleach, and oxidation using hydrogen peroxide. The VFD, which is a thin film microfluidic platform, revealed clear advantages in these oxidations in comparison to traditional batch reactor processing: Efficient mass transfer of gases in the dynamic thin film increased the rate of aerobic oxidations, and the intense micromixing allowed multi-phase oxidations to proceed efficiently, obviating the need for organic solvents and phase transfer catalysts. In addition, the rapid dissipation of heat in the VFD also improved the safety profile and stereoselectivity for exothermic oxidations.