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Recent advances towards the inclusion of flow chemistry within the undergraduate practical class curriculum

Cranwell, P. B. ORCID: (2020) Recent advances towards the inclusion of flow chemistry within the undergraduate practical class curriculum. SynOpen, 04 (04). pp. 96-98. ISSN 2509-9396

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1719539


The expansion of flow chemistry as a means for undertaking a chemical reaction has rapidly developed over recent years. When teaching chemistry to undergraduate students, one aspect that has to be addressed is the core subject-knowledge required to function as a chemist, usually taught through lectures. In addition, chemistry is a practical subject, therefore the laboratory-based skills that students learn and will require upon graduation also need consideration. Traditionally, batch chemistry has dominated the practical laboratory curriculum because, traditionally, when students transferred to an industrial setting completing a reaction using batch chemistry was the norm. However, in recent years flow chemistry has started to become more ubiquitous within the pharmaceutical industry and fine chemical production, therefore undergraduate programs have started to amend their practical provision to reflect this. In recent years there have been a number of practical classes designed that utilise continuous flow analysis and flow injection analysis procedures, as well as construction of cheap microfluidic chips for use both within the undergraduate curriculum and to engage high school students with chemistry. However, the number of experiments that can be used upon preparative scale are much smaller in number. Examples include Fischer esterification, methylation of 2-napthol, Hofmann rearrangement, Knoevenagel condensation, electrophilic aromatic substitution, Paal-Knorr pyrrole synthesis, Diels-Alder cycloaddition and synthesis of azo dyes and disulfides. Some examples showcasing more recently developed reactions are discussed further in this Spotlight but it should be noted that there may be other applications under development. This field is in its infancy therefore this Spotlight should not be considered exhaustive but a starting point for any practical class developer looking to include examples of flow chemistry. As this field develops, it is likely that more reactions that utilise flow chemistry and are suitable for an undergraduate laboratory will be disclosed over the coming years.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:93651


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