From Process Miniaturization to Structured Multiscale Design: The Innovative, High-Performance Chemical Reactors of Tomorrow


  • Michael Matlosz
  • Jean-Marc Commenge



Microreaction engineering, Multiscale design, Process innovation, Process intensification


The increasing use in recent years of microstructured components and devices for chemical analysis and laboratory applications has led to the development of a large number of miniaturized reactor systems of proven performance and interest for the chemical industries. The primary objective of these small-scale devices has been to generate chemical information, and for such applications 'smaller' is very often 'better' since smaller devices allow for use of smaller reactant volumes. Contrary to chemical information, however, chemical production (even for mini-plants) implies the use of significant volumes of reactants, and the motivations for employing microstructured systems in such cases require therefore closer examination. Upon reflection, one concludes that the potential advantages of microstructured devices and components are not limited solely to process miniaturization. On the contrary, incorporation of appropriately designed and targeted microstructured components within large-scale macrodevices can provide novel, innovative design concepts for performance enhancement, resulting in safer, cleaner and more efficient reactors and process units for production plants of all sizes.




How to Cite

M. Matlosz, J.-M. Commenge, Chimia 2002, 56, 654, DOI: 10.2533/000942902777680036.