Use of open-source software platform to develop dashboards for control and automation of flow chemistry equipment†
We report the development of an open-source software approach to monitor and control flow chemistry reactors from any smart device utilising Node-RED which lowers the expertise required to expand the system further and automate other equipment. The software was demonstrated through the control and automation of flow equipment from Uniqsis with the dashboard server run on a low-cost Raspberry Pi. Parameters of the equipment can be saved to a database for review in real-time or at a later stage. The dashboard control platform was demonstrated by performing the allylation of isovanillin in a semi-autonomous closed-loop optimisation fashion using Summit for the optimisation algorithm. The space time yield (STY) was optimised for this reaction using a single-objective Bayesian optimisation (SOBO) approach. The best STY result of 791 g dm−3 h−1 was achieved with the experimental conditions of 77.3 °C for the reactor column, a residence time of 4 min, with 1.005 equivalence of allyl bromide. All the software utilised in this paper was open-source, a tutorial-based approach to developing the program is included in the paper demonstrating the software capabilities.