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Honolulu, HI, United States, 2006/08/29 - Microscale reactor technology has tremendous advantage over conventional macro-scale or batch chemical processes, and offers versatility for a wide range of applications..
Microscale reactor technology offers versatility for a wide range of applications including chemical analyses, drug discovery, radiotracer synthesis, and the fabrication of engineered nanomaterials. Attention is currently focused on developing scaleable process regimes, using an approach engineers call 'numbering up'.
Microreactor technology is defined by a series of interconnected, functionally distinct channels formed on a planar surface, utilizing either hydrodynamic or electroosmotic flow (EOF) for pumping, with channel dimensions typically between 10-300 microns.
Because of the radical reduction in size and weight, microreactors exhibit unique advantages, including high surface area to volume ratio, ultra fast mixing, and narrowly distributed residence time. This precise control over key parameters creates a powerful tool; delivering improved selectivity, leading to increased yields and the ability to discriminate reaction enthalpy.
Depending upon the intended application and chemical environment, microreactors can be manufactured in polymer, metal, quartz, silicon, ceramics or glass using a variety of fabrication techniques including photolithography, wet-etching, sand-blasting, micro-injection molding, laser ablation, and hot embossing.
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