(26c) Scale-Up of Oxidation of Alcohols and Aldehyde Utilizing Bleach and Phase Transfer Catalysis (PTC)

Zhang, Y., Iowa State University
Jensen, K. F., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Using bleach to oxidize alcohols offers several benefits over traditional oxidants: low material cost, mild reaction conditions and no metallic waste. However, the overall reaction rates of such phase transfer catalysis (PTC) reactions are usually limited by mass transfer. Microreactors are known to provide excellent mass transfer rate, but scaling up to production level will need hundreds of microreactors in parallel which can be very expensive. The Low Flow Reactor (LFR) and milli-scale Advanced Flow Reactor (AFR) manufactured by Corning Inc. have larger channel dimensions but still provide comparable mass transport rates. In this work, we compared the observed reaction rate of PTC among spiral design microreactor (0.22 ml), LFR (0.45 ml) and AFR (8.7 ml), and similar conversion was obtained at the same residence time. Through the optimization of the reaction condition and the flow regime, previously mass transfer limited reactions completed within three minutes. Scaling up from microreactor to intermediate devices LFR and AFR without sacrificing mass transport behavior significantly increases production rate and constitute useful flow reactor scaling approaches.