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The Flow Chemistry group led by Prof. Timothy Noël at the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences has recently been awarded funding in three European research projects. All three focus on using renewable resources and energy to produce molecules with relevance to fuels, pharmaceuticals and other valuable end products.

Photochemical flowreactor setup. Image: HIMS.

The budget for the three projects adds up to well over 1.5 million euros for which Noël will be able to appoint two PhDs (four years each) and three postdocs (two years each). In two of the projects (Photo2Fuel and Catart), the group will employ their cutting edge solar photomicroreactors (LSC-PM) to harvest solar energy for the highly productive synthesis of fuels and chemicals from CO2 or other renewable starting materials. In the third project (SusPharma), the group will develop autonomously-operating flow platforms to prepare drug molecules using photocatalysis and electrochemistry.

Noel, a recognized leader in the field of flow chemistry with expertise in both photocatalysis and electrochemistry, sees flow reactors as the ultimate technology to carry out the challenging transformations that underlie a sustainable future chemical industry. "These reactors ensure faster reactions, higher reaction selectivity and enhanced productivity", he says. "As such, they can be an important enabler of a more sustainable economy, and contribute to a more climate-neutral Europe."

> Research group Flow Chemistry