Novel Process Windows make use of process conditions that are far from conventional practices. This involves the use of high temperatures, high pressures, high concentrations (solvent-free), new chemical transformations, explosive conditions, and process simplification and integration to boost synthetic chemistry on both the laboratory and production scale. Such harsh reaction conditions can be safely reached in microstructured reactors due to their excellent transport intensification properties. This Review discusses the different routes towards Novel Process Windows and provides several examples for each route grouped into different classes of chemical and process-design intensification.
Microreactors have shown their ability to improve chemical processes and routes; however, their integration into chemical production processes depends not only on technical advances. Cost issues and productions logistics play a crucial role, too, and are highlighted with two different case studies. Economical drivers for the pharmaceutical industry are described with emphasis on future development of microprocess engineering.
Microstructured devices offer unique transport capabilities for rapid mixing, enhanced heat and mass transfer and can handle small amounts of dangerous or unstable materials. The integration of reaction kinetics into fluid dynamics and transport phenomena is essential for successful application from process design in laboratory to chemical production. Strategies to implement production campaigns up to tons of pharmaceutical chemicals are discussed, based on Lonza projects.
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