Many chemical reactions use hazardous chemicals that are extremely environmentally unfriendly. In some cases, electrochemical synthesis could provide a clean alternative by replacing these chemical reagents with electrons. Using electrons has the added advantage of allowing reactions to proceed under milder conditions. In cases where two chemical reactions compete, electrons appear as a good substitute, limiting unwanted side-products.
Electrochemical synthesis is the use of electrical energy to drive chemical change; using electricity to replace toxic and costly chemical reagents. This allows cleaner and cheaper syntheses with greater production efficiency and at reduced cost.
Electrochemical activation of chemical reagents enables selectivity and transformations impossible by other techniques; the MF-ELFlow Electrochemistry Flow Chemistry Systems give easy access to electrochemical reactions in continuous flow.
MF-ELFlow is our range of electrochemical cells and integrated systems.MF-ELFlow is an easy to use, flexible, hand-assembly laboratory electrochemical cell.
MF-ELFlow is an easy to use, flexible, hand-assembly laboratory electrochemical cell.
Advantage over Ordinary Redox Reactions
Electrosynthesis replaces homogeneous chemical catalysis with immobilised surface catalysis and eliminates the need for toxic and expensive chemical reagents for a range of oxidative and reductive reactions.
High Selectivity and Product Yields
Electrosynthesis offers high and controllable selectivity and product yields with no problematic by-products. Selectivity can be precisely controlled by varying the applied electrode potential.
Low Energy Consumption
Low electricity consumption per kg of desired product.
Optimised Process Conditions
The process conditions for an electrochemical reaction can be optimised further by splitting the process into two or more discrete sections which can be controlled separately.
Easy Scale Up
Cost effective scale up is easily achieved by the addition of further electrochemical cells. This is easier than the conventional scale-up requirements of larger or multiple reactor vessels.
Electrochemical synthesis systems are used in Fine Chemical and Pharmaceutical applications amongst others. Examples include:
Inorganic chemical synthesis including bromine, chlorine, fluorine, aluminium
Aqueous and non-aqueous organic chemical synthesis including L-cysteine, electro-catalytic hydrogenation, the reduction of carboxylic acids
Electro-organic Continuous Flow Reactor Features
Help to overcome oxidant/reductant free organic synthesis.
There is no need of oxidant/reductant
Very high surface to volume ratio.
Traditional batch electrolysis processes require long reaction time which can be avoided with our product.
The device works on the principle of electro-chemistry.
Available electrode: Iron, Copper, Graphite, Titanium, Nickel foam, Ni coated on the copper electrode, Steel.
The microfluidic electrochemical reactor has the characteristics of short electrode distance and continuous reaction. The feature of short electrode distance can bring advantages of low voltage, less amount of electrolyte or no electrolyte; continuous reaction can bring the advantage of no backflow of materials, so as to realize the product is not excessively redox and improve the product yield. In addition, the microchannel electrochemical reactor has the characteristics of accurate temperature control and fast mass transfer. Under the condition of extremely small electrode distance, special redox coupling reactions can also be realized.
(1) Long residence time, which can realize continuous synthesis or processing;
(2) The temperature of the react or can be controlled;
(3) There is a wide choice of electrode types, and the electrode distance can be adjusted;
(4) It can be carried out with or without diaphragm.
Continuous flow electrochemical reactor other features:
1. The MF-ELFlow continuous flow electrochemical reactor is a more convenient and simple electrochemical reactor;
2. Special heating and refrigeration board design (water cooling joints, electrode heads);
3. It adopts slow-moving wire-cutting technology to form, which can control the electrode temperature -30-200 degrees Celsius;
4. Simple clamping, integrated design of electrode plate and chip, higher cost performance;
5. The current collector unit is omitted, the electrode spacing is 0.025-2mm on demand, and the chip pool depth is 0.05-2mm on demand. It can realize a single flow cell unit and a rectifier flow cell, and realize a single electrolytic cell reaction and a double electrolytic cell reaction;
6. Hand-tight assembly without tools, insulated screw connection, breakdown voltage up to 20kv;
7. The electrode material can be selected from isostatic graphite, 99.9 pure copper, foamed nickel, and the sealing strength can reach 20bar;
8. The membrane models used in the water/alcohol system, pure organic phase system, and dual-cell system are different. Please specify the system when ordering.
Technical Specifications for Electrochemical Flow Reactor
Stainless Steel / Fe / Zn / Cu / Ni /graphite
Maximum operating pressure
Chip integrated electrode plate：
Material: SGL graphite, isostatically pressed, highly dense (optional copper, foamed nickel)
Operating temperature: -25℃-190℃
Working pressure: 0-20bar
Microfluidic flow cell depth: 0.05-1mm optional
Material: PFA film (Ion exchange membrane is optional)
Operating temperature: -25℃-190℃
Breakdown voltage: 3KV
Diaphragm thickness: 50um, 100um, 200um, 300um, 500um optional
Material: 6061-T6 anodized
Hot and cold water flux: 5-10L/min
Copper electrode tip：
Material: 99.9% pure copper
Conductive cross-sectional area: 3.14*8mm*8mm
Limit voltage: 20KV
Inlet/outlet ports:1/4"-28 UNF
Process cases that can be realized by continuous flow electrochemical reactor: continuous flow electrochemical reaction process, cathode reduction reaction (one-way circulation), anodic oxidation reaction (one-way circulation), redox reaction (two-way circulation).
Application fields of continuous flow electrochemical reactor: substitution of electrolytic cells, preparation of special pharmaceutical intermediates, preparation of energetic materials, etc.
Product category: electrochemical flow reactor;continuous flow electrochemical reactor;flow electrochemistry;new flow electrochemical reactor;microchannel electrochemical reaction systemMicrofluidic Electrolysis Cell;Electrochemical Flow Reactors;Continuous flow electrochemical reactor;Micro-electro-flow reactor.
Electrochemistry in flow
Electrochemistry in flow chemistry applications
Electrochemistry enables the unique activation of reagents enabling selectivity and transformations not possible by other techniques. The transfer of electrons drive reactions and transformations, meaning that electrochemistry is a surface phenomenon whereby reactions are optimised when there is a high surface area to volume ratio.
Electrochemistry in flow means that the substrate can be streamed through in between two electrodes. As a result, the ability to adjust the flow rate will adjust the amount of time that the substrate is exposed to the electron transfer process.
The advantage of this over typical batch methods means that we can maximise the potential of the surface phenomenon properties i.e. reducing the distance between the electrodes for more efficient electron transfer. As such electrochemistry in flow greatly allows for better control and selectivity of the reaction.
Benefits of electrochemistry in flow chemistry applications
Along with the ability to access unique reactions and transformations that are not possible by other techniques, electrochemistry also enables:
A reduction in the quantities of toxic and hazardous oxidizing/reducing agents used
The generation of reactive intermediates. Ideal for multi-step syntheses
Rapid Oxidations and ReductionsOxidative synthesis of drug metabolites
Oxidative synthesis of drug metabolites
In an electrochemical reaction, the reaction is driven by the number of electrons available to activate molecules to result in the desired reaction.
Conducting electrochemistry in flow means that you can stream substrate continuously in between the electrodes during electron transfer. The ability to adjust flow rates means that the residence time of electrochemical reactions is under tight control with residence times often determining the product distribution and control of by-product formation.
Additionally, after the initial set-up of your experiment. Electrochemical reactions can be continuously run and collected in an automated fashion. As a result, running in flow means you can get larger volumes of substrate undergoing electrochemical reactions and get larger quantities of product per experiment.
As you are also streaming fluid in a channel between two electrodes, reducing the distance between the electrodes allows for better control of the number of electrons that are transferred to the substrates enabling better control and selectivity of the reaction meaning that alongside more accurate product distribution you will also obtain higher yields of product.
Core flow principles mean that temperature control is also substantially more efficient during electrochemical reaction, as smaller channels promote much more efficient heat transfer, as a result, a range variables can be controlled in a single electrochemical reaction to achieve the desired conditions.All these factors mean that electrochemical reactions in flow can occur much faster than the analogous reaction in a batch process with reactions that can take up to several hours typically occurring in several minutes whilst also giving more, well-distributed produce due to the amount of control afforded when running Electrochemistry in flow.
All these factors mean that electrochemical reactions in flow can occur much faster than the analogous reaction in a batch process with reactions that can take up to several hours typically occurring in several minutes whilst also giving more, well-distributed produce due to the amount of control afforded when running Electrochemistry in flow.
The electrochemical reactor adjusts the spacing through the thickness of the chip. The electrode material can be graphite electrode or copper-nickel electrode, and a sealing ring is used to prevent leakage. The multi-threaded tube-and-tube parallel tree branch structure reduces resistance, and the effect is very good without electrolyte.
Electrolysis provides another method for organic synthesis where anion/cation radical intermediates must be formed. Traditional electrolysis methods are subject to many limitations, such as uneven electric field, heat loss due to heating, and supporting electrolytes must be used. These factors either hinder the efficiency of electrosynthesis or increase the difficulty of separation. The combination of electrosynthesis and micro-reaction technology can effectively overcome the above shortcomings.
Continuous flow electrochemical reactor can be used for the research of electrochemical reaction, electrode, electrolyte and membrane separation.
Electrochemistry has great potential to provide synthetic organic chemists. However, the use of electrochemistry in modern laboratories is usually rare. This is largely due to the lack of suitable equipment that allows non-electrochemical personnel to use "convenient" methods for chemical reactions. In order to make this technique more acceptable as a routine procedure, chemists need a simpler and more user-friendly way to access it.
Past electrochemical technology relied on electrolysis in glass reactors, which resulted in poor reaction control, low selectivity, poor reproducibility and slow reaction rates. Although these systems can be easily set up, they have been reluctant to adopt them for the reasons mentioned above.
In the past 5 years or so, the development of continuous flow electrochemical cells has made it possible to selectively synthesize high reactant-to-product conversion rates, more commonly in single-pass equipment. These devices provide convenient access to electrochemical technology, which is driving its current re-evaluation as a viable and attractive synthesis method.
Basic principles of organic electrosynthesis
During the organic electrochemical reaction, organic molecules are activated by adding or removing electrons on the electrode surface through a heterogeneous process. Electrosynthesis reactions usually require two electrodes (anode and cathode) to be in contact with a solution containing electrolyte. The electrolyte is a salt that provides ions to improve the conductivity of the solution.
Electrochemistry can be performed in many different ways, including potentiostatic mode (controlling the voltage across the electrodes) or constant current mode (controlling the current across the electrodes).
· Several variables can be explored in the development of electrosynthesis methods.
The nature of the electrode
· Applied voltage/current
· Whether the chemical reaction takes place at the anode or the cathode
· Whether the electrodes are simply located on either side of the battery or are separated (for example, separated by an ion permeable membrane)
Advantages of organic electrosynthesis
· The reaction selectivity can be controlled by the potential applied to the working electrode. It means that you can choose an electrophoresis that is the opposite of an electrophoresis with a similar structure. Unlike using redox reagents, the potential can be modified at will
· The reaction speed can be controlled by adjusting the current density or the applied potential
· Like classical organic chemistry, the degree of molecular transformation can be controlled by managing the number of electrons provided (regarding its oxidation state)
· The properties of the electrode and the composition of the electrolyte can be used as reaction parameters to control the selectivity and reaction rate
· Predict the experimental conditions and methods of electrosynthesis
· Since electrolysis is usually carried out at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, the reaction conditions are usually mild.
Continuous flow electrochemical technology
Traditional electrochemical methods involve the use of "beakers". Generally, in the electrochemical literature, the precise description of the device is not properly described. While giving the electrode material, the geometry, position and size will not bring difficulties to the replication experiment. The development of continuous flow electrochemical equipment eliminated many problems of copying experimental procedures and restricted variables to electrode materials and synthesis procedures.
Electrochemistry is a surface phenomenon, which means that a large surface area to volume ratio is required. If we are familiar with flow chemistry in general, this is something we know very well. Compared with batch reactors of equivalent volume, flow reactors have a larger surface area to volume ratio. It is not a big leap to design a flow electrochemical reactor that produces a high surface-to-volume ratio relative to the electrode.
One thing to consider in traditional electrochemical methods is that the distance between the electrodes is greater than that of electrodes of the same flow rate. Larger distances between the electrodes can cause loss of control of the charge passing between the electrodes, resulting in an "electronic gradient". The figure below illustrates this through simple oxidation. A series of electrons in the reaction causes a loss of selectivity.