PICPOSS seeks to develop a continuous flow process for the sustainable production of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals through sensitized photo-oxygenations. The specific research aims are :
- to use LED-driven microreactors as an energy-efficient and safe technology that increases yields and selectivity of industrially relevant sensitized photo-oxygenations thanks to advanced control of key operating parameters,
- to implement solid-supported photosensitizers in these LED-driven microreactors as a strategy to reduce or circumvent downstream separation processes, and also as a new photochemical synthesis concept, and
- to establish a methodology for smart scale-up and to realize an industrial proof-of-concept.
The breakthroughs developed will overcome safety and cost concerns of currently available technologies (batch reactors, energy-demanding mercury lamps), and thus open new opportunities for industrial synthesis of valuable fine chemicals via sensitized photo-oxygenation.
PICPOSS will focus on two benchmark reactions of industrial relevance : the photo-oxygenation of alpha-terpinene, a common essential oil component, and of furfural obtained from hemicelluloses contacting waste from agriculture.