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Microreactors—A Powerful Tool to Synthesize Peroxycarboxylic Esters

1,*, 2,† and 2,†
Fraunhofer ICT-IMM, Carl-Zeiss-Straße 18-20, 55129 Mainz, Germany
Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Unter den Eichen 87, 12205 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Kerry Gilmore
Molecules 2016, 21(1), 5;
Received: 20 October 2015 / Revised: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 15 December 2015 / Published: 22 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Flow Chemistry)
PDF [2569 KB, uploaded 22 December 2015]


The synthesis of peroxycarboxylic esters, as one subgroup of organic peroxides, is characterized by a high thermal hazard potential regarding process safety. In case of failure in the production process, e.g., if the heat of reaction cannot be removed sufficiently fast, decomposition reactions can be triggered, and as a result, remarkable amounts of heat and gas can be released and can cause a high extent of damage. Multifarious technical and organizational measures are necessary to ensure the safe industrial production of peroxides. With the introduction of microreaction technology plenty of possibilities have been opened to carry out highly exothermic reactions in smaller volumes and with more efficient heat removal. In this paper we report the application of three different microstructured reactors, representing different mixing strategies, to synthesize two peroxymonocarboxylic esters, namely tert-butyl peroxypivalate and tert-butyl peroxy-2-ethylhexanoate. The following reactor types were considered: an orifice microreactor, a split and recombine microreactor and a capillary tube reactor in combination with ultrasonication. The efficiency of the two phase liquid/liquid reaction is expressed in comparison of conversion and selectivity. With microreaction technology a remarkable increase in space-time-yield, ranging from 12,500 kg·m−3·h−1 to 414,000 kg·m−3·h−1, is achieved. View Full-Text
Keywords: microreactor; peroxycarboxylic ester; multiphase; peroxide; continuous processing; process safety; flow chemistry microreactor; peroxycarboxylic ester; multiphase; peroxide; continuous processing; process safety; flow chemistry

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Illg, T.; Knorr, A.; Fritzsche, L. Microreactors—A Powerful Tool to Synthesize Peroxycarboxylic Esters. Molecules 2016, 21, 5.

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