Flash chemistry: fast organic synthesis in microsystems

Flash chemistry: fast organic synthesis in microsystems

Jun-ichi Yoshida
Chichester, UK: Wiley-Interscience 2008 | 244pp | ?75.00 (HB)ISBN 9780470035863

Reviewed by Paul Watts 


This book will attract organic and process chemists who are interested in using continuous flow reactor technology, often called microreactors, for improving the efficiency and safety of their reactions. The title nicely illustrates that reactions in such systems can be conducted in a much shorter time, in a ’flash’, than when conducted in batch processes.

The author has structured the book well; the introductory chapters clearly establish the basic concepts of microreactor technology. The vast majority of the book describes the organic reactions that have been conducted in microreactor systems and covers the majority of reaction types including solution phase synthesis, reactions involving gases, catalysed reactions (homogeneous and heterogeneous) as well as photochemical and electrochemical synthesis. One other key chapter describes polymer synthesis in microreactors, where the key result is that these reactor systems enable much greater control over molecular weights and their distributions.

It is sometimes thought that microreactor technology is only suitable for preparing small quantities of product. The final chapter of the book reviews industrial applications and illustrates that multi tonne quantities per hour can be produced in these systems.

Overall I found the book very readable and would recommend it to anyone wishing to learn about the benefits of microreactor technology.