Lab-on-chip processes often require long dwelling times leading to coiled capillary reactors with laminar flow. These tubular reactors are designed for a reaction time, unfortunately with a wide residence time distribution. This contribution presents a modular concept based on coiled flow inverters (CFI), which achieve high radial mixing with narrow residence time distribution at low Reynolds numbers . The modular design enables quick adaptation to changing residence times and flow rates with low pressure loss. The tube diameters range from capillaries with a few 100 μm to several millimeters for high throughput and long residence time.
With the aid of a design space diagram, the required pipe diameters and lengths can be quickly determined based on standardized coil diameters . The modular concept enables various arrangements for different residence time and flow rate requirements with minimum pressure loss. In the laboratory, for example, a chemical process in the throughput range of a few grams per hour can be developed and processed in the simple device. The results can be scaled via the platform concept to higher production rates with constant residence time characteristics. The scale-up concept can easily be displayed and designed graphically in the reactor performance diagram.