Research Highlight

Microreactors for bio-compounds

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.10 Published online 27 January 2009

Use of microreactors could significantly boost production of biologically important molecules, new research has found1.

Using microreactors with two piston pumps, stacked plates and two inlets, researchers have scaled up production of N-arylated pyrazinone from pyrazinone, which plays a vital role in generating a diverse range of biologically important compounds. Besides, the microreactors guarantee safer handling of reactions and higher selectivity.

The researchers used a mixture of pyrazinone-1 and phenylboronic acid in dichloromethane (DCM) brought into the microreactor through one pump and a solution of copper acetate and pyridine in DCM through the other pump under varying volumes of flow and duration (15 to 120 min).

After 120 minutes, a 100 per cent conversion was achieved delivering 79 per cent of the desired N-arylated pyrazinone after purification. This method also proved to be effective for generating aniline-derived N-arylated aniline. Wrapped up within two hours, it was much faster than the conventional 12-72 hours procedures. The results promise efficient scalability over tedious scaling-up procedures.

The authors of this work are from: Bioorganic Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Delhi, Delhi, India, Laboratory for Organic and Microwave-Assisted Chemistry (LOMAC), Department of Chemistry, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, Research group SynBioC, Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium.


  1. Singh, K. B. et al. Copper-mediated N- and O-arylations with arylboronic acids in a continuous flow microreactor: a new avenue for efficient scalability. Tetrahedron Lett. 50, 15-18 (2009) | Article |