Published: CABEQ 26 (3) (2012) 285–307
Paper type: Review

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Combination of Flow Reactors with Microwave-Assisted Synthesis: Smart Engineering Concept for Steering Synthetic Chemistry on the “Fast Lane”

E. Gjuraj, R. Kongoli and G. Shore

Microreactor technology applied in continuous flow processing is an essential feature in making organic synthesis more economical and environmentally friendly. On the other hand, microwave-assisted chemistry is a key technique that has made a significant contribution to the thermal control of synthetic reactions in the early 90’s by speeding up reaction times from days to merely minutes. The combination of both techniques into the same synthetic platform sets the stage for changing forever the way synthetic chemistry is being conducted by providing fast, reliable and labor-free means of synthesizing chemical compounds. Flow reactors and microwave irradiation theory are analyzed separately in the first part, focusing mainly on the microwave heating and special microwave effects. The second part of this review summarizes several successful applications of microwave-assisted, continuous flow microreactor technology from recent synthetic organic chemistry literature; a snapshot of the state of the art of this technique is also shown at the end.

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flow synthesis, microwave-assisted synthesis, microwave effects, microreactors, thin metal films