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Lab Reactor – a modular flow reactor

The flow chemistry and microreactor technologies have proven to be an innovative tool to achieve new chemical path synthesis, improving safety and increasing yield and, conversion [1]. The possibility to scale-up the reactions for the industrial production increases the need to screen synthesis in a robust way [2]. Corning has developed a versatile and easy to use microreactor for the laboratory, the Lab Reactor, keeping in mind the possibility to scale-up the process.

The glass reactor allows an easy follow-up due to its transparent structure. Emulsion, opacity and colours changes are easy to observe and give important information on the reaction mechanism and kinetics [3]. A Wittig reaction has been carried out in the LabFlow reactor to evaluate the influence of the residence time, the temperature and the flow rate.

In addition to provide an extremely resistant structure toward pressure, corrosion and temperature difference, the glass Lab reactor is suitable for the photochemistry. The modular LED panels offer an almost monochromatic light for numerous wavelengths, increasing conversion and selectivity [4]. The synthesis of cis-Stilbenes occurs through photo-isomerisation of trans-stilbene [5]. The tight control of the wavelength and residence time provided by the Photo Lab Reactor helps to determine the optimal reaction conditions for most of the photoreactions.


[1] T. Wirth, Microreactors in organic chemistry and catalysis, John Wiley and Sons, 2013 
[2] E.D. Lavric, P. Woehl, Advanced-Flow glass reactor for seamless scale-up, Chemistry Today, Vol. 27 n°3/May-June 2009
[3] M. José Nieves-Remacha, A.l A. Kulkarni, K. F. Jensen, Hydrodynamics of Liquid−Liquid Dispersion in an Advanced-Flow Reactor, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 51,16251 – 16262 (2012)
[4] O. Shvydkiv, A. Yavorskyy, SB.Tan, K. Nolan, N. Hoffmann, A. Youssef, M. Oelgemöller
Photochem Photobiol Sci., 2011, 10,1399-40
[5] H. Goerner, H. J. Kuhn: Cis-Trans Photoisomerization of Stilbenes and Stilbene-Like Molecules, In: Advances in Photochemistry. 19, 1995, S. 1–117