Merging microfluidics and sonochemistry: towards greener and more efficient micro-sono-reactors

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Abstract

Microfluidics enable the manipulation of chemical reactions using very small amounts of fluid, in channels with dimensions of tens to hundreds of micrometers; so-called microstructured devices, from which the iconic image of chips emerges. The immediate attraction of microfluidics lies in its greenness: use of small quantities of reagents and solvents, and hence less waste, a precise control of reaction conditions, integration of functionality for process intensification, safer and often faster protocols, reliable scale-up, and possibility of performing multiphase reactions. Among the limitations found in microfluidics the facile formation of precipitating products should be highlighted, and in this context, the search for efficient mass and energy transfers is a must. Such limitations have been partially overcome with the aid of ultrasound in conventional flow systems, and can now be successfully used in microreactors, which provide new capabilities. Novel applications and a better understanding of the physical and chemical aspects of sonochemistry can certainly be achieved by combining microfluidics and ultrasound. We will review this nascent area of research, paying attention to the latest developments and showing future directions, which benefit both from the existing microfluidic technology and sonochemistry itself. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10935-10947
Number of pages13
JournalChemical communications
Volume48
Issue number89
Early online date30 Aug 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • METIS-288170
  • IR-81519

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