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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 879531, 8 pages
Review Article

A Microwave-Based Chemical Factory in the Lab: From Milligram to Multigram Preparations

1Dipartimento di Scienza e Tecnologia del Farmaco and Centre for Nanostructured Interfaces and Surfaces (NIS), University of Turin, Via P. Giuria 9, 10125 Torino, Italy
2Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Molecolari e Scienze per la Salute, University of Turin, Via Quarello 15, 10135 Torino, Italy

Received 5 January 2015; Accepted 8 February 2015

Academic Editor: Augusto C. Tome

Copyright © 2015 Laura Rinaldi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Microwave technology is changing the way we design and optimize synthetic protocols and their scaling up to multigram production levels. The latest generation of dedicated microwave reactors enables operators to quickly screen reaction conditions by means of parallel tests and select the best catalyst, solvent, and conditions. Pilot scale synthetic procedures require flow-through conditions in microwave flow reactors which can be obtained by adapting classic batch protocols. Microwave-assisted chemical processes play a pivotal role in the design of sustainable multigram preparations which address the double requirement of process intensification and competitive production costs. Although most researchers are likely to be acquainted with the great potential of dielectric heating, the advantages and disadvantages of a particular device or the conditions needed to maximize efficiency and functionality are often overlooked. The double aims of the present review are to provide a panoramic snapshot of commercially available lab microwave reactors and their features as well as highlighting a few selected applications of microwave chemistry of particular relevance.