Micro-reactors offer distinct advantages over batch reactors currently used within the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries. Their high surface area-to-volume ratios allow for increased heat and mass transfer, which is important for controlling reaction selectivity. In addition, micro-reactors are compatible with continuous processing technology, circumventing the time delays inherent to batch systems. Rapid mixing of reactants within micro-reactors is, however, limited by the inherent difficulty of generating turbulence at reduced geometry scales. Several different passive mixing strategies have been proposed in order to produce eddy-based secondary flows and chaotic mixing. This study examines the effectiveness of these strategies by comparing the energy-density normalized heat and mass transfer coefficients for a selection of industrial micro-reactors. First single, then two-phase liquid-liquid experiments were conducted. Pressure drop measurements were obtained to calculate friction factors and to verify the presence of eddy-based secondary flows. A hot heat exchange fluid and temperature measurements were used to estimate the internal convective heat transfer coefficients within each structure. Volumetric mass transfer coefficients were also determined for the mutual extraction of partially miscible n-butanol and water. Semi-empirical correlations for the reactors’ friction factor and Nusselt number as well as a description of the overall mass transfer coefficient based on energy dissipation are presented.

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