Photochemical flow CSTR

An integrated photochemical add-on for the Vapourtec flow continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR).

Over recent years many research groups and fine chemical manufacturing companies have explored the use of photochemical mediated reactions in CSTRs.  The key benefits over tubular reactors being the tolerance of solid reagents, solid reaction products or solid by products.

Vapourtec has made a photochemical add-on available for easy integration with the R-Series and E-Series flow chemistry systems.  This photochemical add-on for the CSTR expands the capabilities of our existing systems in two ways:

1.      It allows the CSTR to undertake reagentless photochemical reactions.

2.      It expands the scope of continuous flow photochemistry by improving the ability to handle solids.


Vapourtec E-series with photochemical-LED-CSTRs

Key features of this add-on

  • Wavelengths of 365, 385, 400, 420 and 450 nm (other wavelengths up to 650 nm by request)
  • Each LED module has an input power of 70 W, delivering a radiant power up to 40 W
  • Dimmable in the range 10% to 100% of maximum power
  • Can be attached in seconds, without tools
  • One or two Photochemical CSTRs can be powered from one standard Vapourtec UV-150 LED power supply
  • Compatible with E-series and R-series systems


The CSTR allows thermally- or catalyst-mediated reactions in continuous flow using a cascade of reactors. Adding the LED option provides access to photochemically mediated reactions. The potential for exploring novel chemical space is increased by allowing the use of solid catalysis or by enabling reactions that generate solid products or solid byproducts. The CSTR also allows the removal of gaseous reaction products.
The photochemical CSTR cascade is suitable for flow reactions involving solids and liquids and can include up to eight reactors (using an R-series system with two R4 modules).


Vapourtec CSTR flow reactor

Most other key parameters of the CSTR remain consistent

  • Cascade of up to 8 CSTRs on R-Series and 2 CSTRs on E-Series
  • Perfect for flow reactions involving solids
  • 5 ml to 40 ml volume per CSTR
  • Pressurised reactions up to 5.0 bar
  • Ability to heat and cool the reactor -10 °C to + 80 °C
  • Magnetic stirring from 100 rpm to 1200 rpm
  • Easy to disassemble & assemble for cleaning
  • Good chemical resistance (wetted materials: glass, PTFE, PFA, Kalrez)
  • Longer residence times achieved



See reference publication:

[1] Multiphase Photochemistry in Flow Mode via an Integrated Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR) Approach
A.I. Alfano, M. Smyth, S. Wharry, T.S. Moody, M. Nuño, C. Butters, M. Baumann, ChemComm (2024)

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