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Author: Subject: Help! Finding cheap flow chemistry reactor tube & accessories
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cool.gif posted on 1-8-2021 at 01:54
Help! Finding cheap flow chemistry reactor tube & accessories

Hey friends! I'm d(r)ipping my toes into flow chemisty and thus would require a few pieces of equipment for R&D while not spending too much money.

I'm pretty positive there are everyday things or lab equipment that can be repurposed to serve as building blocks for a flow setup.


Of course there are commercially available reactors (like Diba Omnifit, Thalesnano CatCart etc.) but those are a bit expensive, if quite attractive once the project is past a proof-of-concept stage.

The reactor would have to withstand a bit of pressure (less than 3 atm/45psi), be resistant to alcohols (and ideally Heptane and Toluene), have an inner diameter of less than 10mm and length ideally around 100-150mm.
It should also be able to accomodate a frit or filter plate assembly (~25┬Ám) on the inlet and outlet side to catch particles from the catalyst packing.

I thought about repurposing e.g. a MN Chromabond SPE/Flash LC cartridge which has Luer Lock connectors, but the cartridges only come in packs of 50 for about 150 EUR. Someone got unused spares lying around? ;)

download.jpg - 5kB

LC columns in general (especially ones that can be thermostated) like the XK50 from LKB/Pharmacia also look attractive, but they're hard to come by in the dimensions i'm looking for.

A similar device could probably be made by modifying a HDPE/PE or glass syringe, but i'm unsure how to manufacture an end cap that replaces the plunger and can handle a bit of pressure.
Maybe cutting off the conical ends on two centrifuge tubes and fusing the open ends together?

Another idea i had was using a thick-walled PTFE/Polyamide pipe with threaded ends for screwing on end caps (much like an inline filter cartridge), but haven't had any luck finding anything. Of course a machine shop could put threads on a stock pipe and make the caps, but that's probably going to be a bit more on the expensive side then.

Ultimately, thin-walled but rigid PTFE/PA tubing with compression fittings on each end would probably also work, while i'm not sure how to implement the filter elements.


I do have a peristaltic pump, but it's probably not able to provide the flow rates (around 0.1ml/min) required.

A syringe pump would be attractive (Perfusor, Injectomat etc.) due to the pressure tolerant Luer Lock connections used on the syringes.

Any input and direction is highly appreciated. Have a great sunday!
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Triflic Acid
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[*] posted on 1-8-2021 at 07:30

Well, what are you making in flow?

Hope is not a reagent
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