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A methodology that may be applied to help in the choice of a continuous reactor is proposed. In this methodology, the chemistry is first described through the use of eight simple criteria (rate, thermicity, deactivation, solubility, conversion, selectivity, viscosity, and catalyst). Then, each reactor type is also analyzed from their capability to answer each of these criteria. A final score is presented using “spider diagrams.” Lower surfaces indicate the best reactor choice. The methodology is exemplified with a model substrate nitrobenzene and a target pharmaceutical intermediate, N-methyl-4-nitrobenzenemethanesulphonamide, and for three different continuous reactors, i.e., stirred tank, fixed bed, and an advanced microstructured reactor. Comparison with the traditional batch reactor is also provided.

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Journal of Flow Chemistry
Authors: Zine Eddine Hamami, Laurent Vanoye, Pascal Fongarland, Claude de Bellefon, and Alain Favre-Reguillon

An efficient and metal-free method for the oxidation of aldehydes to the corresponding carboxylic acids has been developed. In a simple continuous-flow photochemical reactor, the use of camphorquinone (CQ) irradiated with a white light-emitting diode (LED) source enhanced the autoxidation of aldehydes. Under 5 bar of oxygen, visible light, and 0.3 mol% of CQ, the rate of oxidation was increased from 6 times with 2-ethylhexanal to 30 times for n-nonanal. The large interfacial area generated by a segmented flow apparatus associated with radicals formed by photooxidation of CQ ensures metal-free high throughput of carboxylic acids under safe conditions.

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