Scalable Continuous Vortex Reactor for Gram to Kilo Scale for UV and Visible Photochemistry

Darren S. Lee, Medhat Sharabi, Richard Jefferson-Loveday, Stephen J. Pickering, Martyn Poliakoff, Michael W. George

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


We report the development of a scalable continuous Taylor vortex reactor for both UV and visible photochemistry. This builds on our recent report (Org. Process Res. Dev. 2017, 21, 1042) detailing a new approach to continuous visible photochemistry. Here, we expand this by showing that our approach can also be applied to UV photochemistry and that either UV or visible photochemistry can be scaled-up using our design. We have achieved scale-up in productivity of over 300× with a visible light photo-oxidation that requires oxygen gas and 10× with a UV-induced [2 + 2] cycloaddition obtaining scales of up to 7.45 kg day-1 for the latter. Furthermore, we demonstrate that oxygen is efficiently taken up in the reactions of singlet O2, and for the examples examined, that near-stoichiometric quantities of oxygen can be used with little loss of reactor productivity. Furthermore, our design should be scalable to a substantially larger size and have the potential for scaling-out with reactors in parallel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalOrganic Process Research and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2020


  • continuous flow
  • flow chemistry
  • photo-oxidation
  • photochemistry
  • singlet oxygen
  • vortex reactor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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