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Case study

Department of Trade and Industry

Department of Trade and Industry

LJMU and the Department of Trade and Industry worked together to develop a prototype chemical reactor 

Client: Department of Trade and Industry

Issue: Develop a prototype chemical reactor

Session: Project

Department of Trade and Industry


The chemical industry is a major contributor to employment, technology and wealth creation in Europe. To maintain this position, the chemical industry is constantly seeking to increase yields and reduce production times.

Microwaves operating with a frequency of 2.45GHz are able to drastically reduce chemical reactions from hours, under conventional heating, to just minutes. The microwaves can also produce the controlled reactions required to create eco-friendly green chemistry. Currently, only a laboratory system exists for producing a few cubic centimetres of chemicals.


This Department of Trade and Industry and European Community sponsored project developed a multipurpose prototype chemical reactor using microwave chemistry, for the continuous production of bulk chemicals at commercial production rates (kg/hr).

This was achieved by combining, for the first time, both centrifugal technology and microwave sources, having tuneable frequencies within the range 2GHz to 26GHz. The availability of the tuneable frequency will allow the microwave process to be optimised at all stages of its reaction to generate maximum product yield.


This multidisciplinary project was undertaken by the following LJMU departments:


Staff involved with this project included:

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