Flow Photochemistry

Microstructured flow reactors increase process efficiency

Falling film microreactor for photo chemistry
© Fraunhofer IMM
Falling film microreactor for photo chemistry

Microstructured flow reactors are perfectly suited for performing photochemical syntheses. Incident light is perfectly utilized with gas and liquid streams and solid phases in microchannels or capillaries. Full irradiation of the reaction solution is combined with precise control over the irradiation time as defined by volume in the channels and capillaries and flow rate. Micro reaction technology and photochemical synthesis are most fruitful partners for the sustainable production of high value fine chemicals.

"We use light as sensitive energy source for the productive synthesis of your chemical compounds."

Concerning the light input we count on energy-efficient LED technology. The small size of the LEDs and their relatively low waste heat allow for a targeted adaption of the lighting units to any particular microreactor class. A further special advantage of these light sources is their quasi-monochromatic light emission, allowing a very selective excitation of the photochemically active material.

Offer to our customers

Based on our acknowledged reactor technology we offer a broad range of developments for your photochemical processes. Unique temperature control and photonic contacting are possible in falling film microreactors for short residence times of tens of seconds and capillary reactors for long residence times from minutes to hours. Both reactor architectures are available for scale-up and adaptation to your photochemical process.

We as well offer the development of individual LED arrays including electronic control units. Commercially available high power emitters are used for a defined irradiation window from near UV-A to visible light.

Our portfolio includes process development for the transfer of your synthesis from batch to continuous flow mode or for an individual part of your process, e.g. catalyst immobilization. Depending on your photochemical route we use homogenous organic sensitizers and organometallic complexes or heterogeneous metal oxides, e.g.:

  • dyes: Rose Bengal, Eosin Y, riboflavins, porphyrins, perylene diimides, …
  • organometallic complexes with Ir, Ru, Cu, …
  • metal oxides: TiO2, Bi2O3, BiVO4, ZnO, …

Possible photochemical applications include

  • in situ generation of singlet oxygen
  • photooxidation
  • cis-trans isomerization
  • fluorination
  • cyanation
  • carbon-carbon bond formation via diazonium chemistry
  • nanoparticle manufacturing

Whether you are interested in optimizing your photochemical processes or you are thinking about using photochemistry in your processes for the first time, we are the right partner.