About this Research Topic
Flow chemistry is a well-established technique for manipulating the reactions in multiple steps and manufacturing large quantities of chemicals in a sustainable fashion. In flow chemistry, a chemical reaction/process proceeds in a continuously flowing stream and flow synthesis could allow precision control over reaction conditions, which could endow the tailor-made synthesis of new nanomaterials, hierarchical catalysts, heterostructure nanoparticles, active pharmaceutical ingredients and cosmetics. Besides, flow reactors can also be integrated with other enabling technologies to further enhance the reactions happening in a faster, greener and more sustainable way, such as plasma technology, molecular imprinting, 3D printing and milli/microfluidics. Such combinations could result in fully intelligent and automated manufacturing processes with an increased efficiency and improved sustainability, especially under the current context of “Industry 4.0”, necessitating the computerization and intelligence of modern manufacturing processes.
Continuous flow technologies offer distinctive advantages and attractive features widely exploited in the industrial and pharmaceutical processes, due to enhanced control over mass and heat transfer rates, high volumetric productivity, laminar flow conditions, and low manufacturing, operating, and maintenance costs. Nowadays, traditional petrochemical and pharmaceutical companies have paid much more attention in enabling flow chemistry in manufacturing specific chemicals and materials. However, the requirement of very fast reaction conditions coupled with highly active stable catalysts, potential risks on fouling, clogging, and leaks of chemicals, as well as catalyst deactivation and frequent reactor repacking/reactivation and on-stream reliability in catalytic reactors, are the main challenges to be tackled. Besides, the potential of flow chemistry in discovering and synthesizing of new materials (noble metal nanoparticles, metal-organic frameworks, covalent-organic frameworks, zeolites, perovskites, etc.) and new heterostructures (core shell, butterfly, flower, tree, etc.) has yet to be maximized and promoted for the good of a green and sustainable future. This Research Topic will present the recent advances in applying novel flow chemistry and promoting multiphase milli/microfluidics to design and synthesize new materials and nanostructures, such as metal nanoparticles, metal-organic frameworks, covalent-organic frameworks, zeolites, perovskites, etc.
The aim of the current Research Topic is to cover promising and novel research findings in flow chemistry. Areas to be covered in this research topic may include, but not limited to:
• Development of new flow chemistry (processes and platforms) for reaction kinetics study and materials synthesis
• Experimental and computational fluid dynamics aided design of nanomaterials in flow reactors
• Multi-scale flow systems in controlling the size, structure, morphology, and other intrinsic characteristics of materials
• Flow reactors in synthesizing metal nanoparticles, metal oxides, metal-organic frameworks, covalent-organic frameworks, zeolites, perovskites, etc.
• Flow synthesis of new biomaterials, fine chemicals, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), proteins, oligonucleotides, etc.
• Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) guided design of new materials, structures, drugs, catalysts, and adsorbents
Keywords: flow chemistry, green chemistry, digital chemistry, materials synthesis, biotechnology
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