Application of reactor engineering concepts in continuous flow chemistry: a review
The adoption of flow technology for the manufacture of chemical entities, and in particular pharmaceuticals, has seen rapid growth over the past two decades with the technology now blurring the lines between chemistry and chemical engineering. Current indications point to a future in which flow chemistry and related technologies will be a major player in modern chemical manufacturing and the 4th industrial revolution. In this review we highlight the application of new reactor configurations and designs in the context of either bespoke or commercial flow apparatus specifically related to microwave chemistry, photochemical transformations, electrochemical promoted reactions and multi-phasic reactions. In addition, we look at how 3D printing in reactor design and computer-aided automation is growing within the field and finally describe how innovative solutions are being developed to tackle challenging down-stream processing operations.