Electrochemical synthesis in microfluidics

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 30 Apr 2021

Due to the advantages of small-scale flow reactors, such as better control over process conditions and intrinsic safety, there is an increased tendency to apply them to the continuous manufacturing of chemical products. These small-scale reactors also allow to intensify processes further by using alternative energy sources, such as ultrasound and electrochemistry. 

In this project, we will build an ultrasound integrated electrochemical reactor, and thus harness the synergistic effects of both technologies. Electrochemistry itself allows green and sustainable chemistry, and the use of ultrasound will improve the mixing in the reactor to increase its throughput. Secondly, many reactions which would benefit from small-scale reactors involve solids either as reagent or product, which would then clog the small channels. Ultrasonic waves have been proven to be a useful remedy for avoiding clogging issues as they induce cavitation: the creation, expansion and collapse of gas bubbles. 

The goal of this project is to develop a reactor integrated with an ultrasound actuator and to quantitatively study the effects of ultrasound power and frequency on mixing and solid behavior. The reactor will be applied to organic synthesis relevant for the pharmaceutical industry, and will provide a technological solution to channel clogging and therefore enable continuous electrochemical synthesis.

We are looking for highly motivated students, who can perform a PhD project on this challenging topic. 

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