Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Flow Photochemistry: Old Light Through New Windows

Published: Monday, December 17, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, December 17, 2012
Bookmark and Share
This review highlights the use of flow reactors in organic photochemistry, allowing a comparison of the various reactor types to be made.

Flow photochemistry has developed rapidly since the early reports just over 10 years ago. Initial studies focussed on the microflow regime, which itself was born out of the “lab-on-achip” arena. Since then there have been many reports of various well engineered microflow photochemical reactors. Most of these have shown that many photochemical reactions can be carried out with higher yields (space/time) and selectivities and with fewer side reactions than comparable batch reactors. On the whole, however, microreactors are uncompetitive with classic immersion-well batch reactors when it comes to the key issue of productivity. This is unsurprising given the very low reaction volumes and flow rates involved, and as such comparison of two such different reactor topologies is not useful. Microflow reactors are particularly well placed to make best use of the current developments in LED technology. As microflow reactors cannot make use of a large photon flux, much of the radiation from powerful UV lamps is wasted. Use of arrays of compact LEDs is much more suitable and efficient. At the moment LEDs of λ < 365 nm are expensive, prohibitively so at wavelengths of 300 nm and below where a single LED can cost as much €300. This price will come down in future, but it is likely that only a microflow reactor could benefit from this. With further developments photochemical microflow reactors are likely to find many applications, particularly if they can be coupled with automation: screening for new photoreactions, reaction and wavelength optimisation, drug discovery, microactinometers for quantum yield measurements, etc. 

Since its introduction in 2005, the FEP macroflow reactor of Booker-Milburn and Berry has demonstrated that batch-locked reactions can be scaled up from sub-gram quantities to over 500 g per day in a single pass. A flagship example of this was recently reported by Seeberger and Lévesque in their continuous (>200 g per day) synthesis of artemisinin, the current front-line treatment for malaria. Related designs have very recently demonstrated that photocatalysis can be carried out in macroflow devices with high productivities. This is a very significant development as photocatalysis is a powerful emerging area for synthetic chemistry and promises to have wide application. The value of FEP and related tube designs lies in the simplicity of their construction: all the tubing, glassware, lamps and pumps are commercially available at a very economical price and a functioning reactor can be set up in a matter of hours in a standard fume hood. 

With now easy access to flow photochemistry we hope that the synthetic community at large will make more use of photochemical bond-forming reactions and apply them to their general synthetic problems. As way of stimulus, the following provocative question can be asked: can your ground-state chemistry give you easy, clean and reagentless access to 100 g quantities of molecules with high structural complexity? Flow photochemistry can. 

The full review article, written by Jonathan Knowles, Luke Elliott and Kevin Booker-Milburn from the University of Bristol, is available online in Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and is free to access. 

Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,100+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Targeting Cannabinoid CB2 Receptors in the CNS
With endogenous cannabinoids considered as a potential target to combat CNS diseases, this article examines the role of CB2R could play in fighting some disorders.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Food Analysis Applications of Core-Shell Columns in HPLC
Despite applications of core-shell particles columns in food analysis being at an early stage, articles describing their use for improving separations of several classes of compounds are becoming more frequent.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Porphyrins as Catalysts in Scalable Organic Reactions
This review covers the most relevant scalable porphyrin-catalysed procedures, showing how these compounds represent broad applications in chemistry.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Determination of 13 Organic Toxicants in Human Blood
Researchers have utilised liquid-liquid extraction coupling HPLC-MS/MS to identify and quantify organic toxicants in human blood.
Friday, July 22, 2016
A Novel Cell Culture Model For Forensic Biology Experiments
Researchers have developed a new cell culture model which provides an efficient research tool in forensic biology.
Friday, July 22, 2016
Gender Determination in Forensic Investigations
This study investigated the effectiveness of lip print analysis as a tool in gender determination.
Friday, June 24, 2016
Plasma Biomarkers for Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Plasma lipidomics profiling identified lipid biomarkers in distinguishing early-stage breast cancer from benign lesions.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
A Mechanistic Tool for Studying Fungal Pathogens
This study presents an overview of lipid extraction, chromatographic separation and mass spectrometry employed in qualitative and quantitative sphingolipidomics in fungi.
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Acetaldehyde and Formaldehyde Content in Foods
Korean researchers have determined the content of the toxic and carcinogenic aldehydes, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, in a variety of food groups.
Monday, November 09, 2015
Sample & Analysis Tracking in Oncogenomic Experiments
The study outlines Onco-STS, a web-based laboratory information management system for sample and analysis tracking in oncogenomic experiments.
Friday, May 08, 2015
Arabidopsis TOE Proteins Involved in the Regulation of Flowering Time
This study found that TOE proteins serve as major integrator of developmental and environmental signaling pathways, especially the photoperiod flowering pathway, triggering flowering at an appropriate age and time.
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Aflatoxin Biosynthesis - a Novel Source of Reactive Oxygen Species
Researchers at the Michigan State University found that the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway in A. Parasiticus directly or indirectly generates ROS in aflatoxisomes/endosomes and that Superoxide represents a significant fraction of the aflatoxin biosynthesis-derived ROS pool.
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
SSR Markers and Genetic Diversity in White Birch
The results of this study indicate that the white birch trees sampled from six geographical locations had low to moderate similarity (0.025–0.610) and suggested that the SSR primers used in this study can effectively distinguish white birch germplasm.
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
The Genetics Behind Abdominal Pigmentation in Drosophila melanogaster
This study by researchers at the North Carolina State University provides evidence that genetic variation at a number of steps in regulatory, developmental, and transport pathways may contribute to natural variation in abdominal pigmentation.
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Selection of Reference Genes for Quantitative RT-PCR Analysis
The expression stability of 12 commonly used reference genes was analysed.
Thursday, April 02, 2015
Scientific News
Integrated Omics Analysis
Studying multi-omics promises to give a more holistic picture of the organism and its place in its ecosystem, however despite the complexities involved those within the field are optimistic.
Unravelling the Role of Key Genes and DNA Methylation in Blood Cell Malignancies
Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center have demonstrated the role of Dnmt3a in safeguarding normal haematopoiesis.
Salford Lung Study - The First Real World Clinical Trial
In this podcast, we learn about the Salford Lung Study and its potential to revolutionize the way we assess new drugs and treatments around the world.
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
Structure of Primary Cannabinoid Receptor is Revealed
The findings provide key insights into how natural and synthetic cannabinoids including tetrahydrocannabinol —a primary chemical in marijuana—bind at the CB1 receptor to produce their effects.
Overlooked Molecules Could Revolutionise our Understanding of the Immune System
Researchers have discovered that around one third of all the epitopes displayed for scanning by the immune system are a type known as ‘spliced’ epitopes.
Illumina Contributes to ClinVar Database
The contribution includes variants of all classifications, from pathogenic to benign, identified during interpretation of whole genome sequences generated in the CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited Illumina Clinical Services Laboratory.
Agilent Presents Early Career Professor Award to Dr. Roeland Verhaak
JAX professor recognized for the development and implementation of workflows for the analysis of big-data from transcriptomics to next generation sequencing approaches.
NIH Study Determines Key Differences between Allergic and Non-Allergic Dust Mite Proteins
Researchers at NIH have uncovered factors that lead to the development of dust mite allergy and assist in the design of better allergy therapies.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,100+ scientific videos