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Continuous Flow Reactors for Gas/Liquid Chemical Processes
Durham University

The use of continuous flow reactors for gas/liquid chemical reactions remains relatively undeveloped even though application of such devices for reactions involving highly reactive gases may, potentially, be highly beneficial. Our long term interest in the synthesis of molecules bearing fluorine atom substituents by selective transformation of carbon-hydrogen bonds to carbon-fluorine bonds using highly reactive elemental fluorine, prompted us to develop flow reactor systems for the purpose of increasing selectivity, controllability and safety of direct fluorination processes. The development and use of practical, easily maintained, economic and simple multi-channel thin film gas/liquid flow reactors that may be fabricated using standard workshop techniques will be described. Direct fluorination of 1,3-dicarbonyl systems on a practical scale (e.g. 100 g per 24 hour period in a 9-channel device) demonstrates the applicability of flow devices for industry. Recent use of the HOF.MeCN complex, formed by reaction of fluorine with water in acetonitrile, for various oxidation processes will also be presented.

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