Flow chemistry is a research field that deviates significantly from organic reactions performed by the classical batch mode. Being able to perform a chemical transformation in a continuous manner offers several advantages, the most obvious being operator safety. Adapting a chemical reaction to a continuous flow allows scale up without the need of a secondary and dedicated reaction site. Furthermore, once flow processes have been installed, all steps in the sequence hold the possibility of being fully automated.
Performing a chemical reaction in a continuous flow involves research into two areas, i.e. investigation of the chemical reaction itself including the mechanistic understanding and stoichiometric requirements of reagents and initiation of a dedicated reactor design to fine-tune reaction parameters such as reactor type, temperature zones, retention time, operating pressures, overall reactor size, etc.
Furthermore, scale-up flow chemistry is often applied in connection with highly energetic reagents or intermediates, high temperature transformations, exothermic reactions or sequential transformations. Flow Process Technology is the most straightforward way to bridge the gap between research and development chemistry and industrial process chemistry. The ability to safely perform a newly developed transformation on a large scale not only demonstrates the full potential of the reaction, but also its applicability to industrial scale synthesis.