Evaluation of a Continuous-Flow Photo-Bromination Using N-Bromosuccinimide for Use in Chemical Manufacture

    • Matthew Waterforda
    • Simon Sauberna
    • Christian H. Hornunga
    • aCSIRO Manufacturing, Bag 10, Clayton South, Vic. 3169, Australia.

    A continuous-flow photo-bromination reaction on benzyl and phenyl groups was conducted using N-bromosuccinimide as the bromine source inside a preparatory-scale glass plate reactor. This flow reactor system was capable of independently controlling light intensity, wavelength, and reaction temperature, hence exerting an exceptional level of control over the reaction. A short optimisation study for the synthesis of 2-bromomethyl-4-trifluoromethoxyphenylboronic acid pinacol ester resulted in best conditions of 20°C and 10 min residence time using an LED (light-emitting diode) array at 405 nm and acetonitrile as the solvent. The present study evaluates the potential for this easy-to-handle bromination system to be scaled up for chemical manufacture inside a continuous-flow glass plate reactor. The combination with an in-line continuous flow liquid–liquid extraction and separation system, using a membrane separator, demonstrates the potential for continuous flow reaction with purification in an integrated multi-stage operation with minimal manual handling in between.

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