This review provides a comprehensive overview of where infrared irradiation has been employed, mainly as regards activating green mode for natural products extractions, as well as to favor a reaction, highlighting its actual importance. It is also underlined that infrared irradiation heating has been around for a long time; however, only in the last eighteen years have many of its advantages been applied to satisfy a wide range of chemical processes, natural products extractions, and for the promotion of many kinds of reactions. In addition, it is brought to light that near infrared irradiation is more efficient than middle and far infrared irradiations, being easily controllable and with the quality of a fast responding heat source. Thus, the main objective of this review is to offer infrared irradiation as an alternative clean energy source to activate reactions, in addition to favor the selective extraction of natural products, all of which is within the Green Chemistry protocol. Some recent results from our laboratory are also included.
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