Continuous flow chemistry: the laboratory of the future

The Project

Will the chemistry of the future be on robots’ hands? Our research project wants to present the laboratory of the future and how the way of synthesis of new products is changing. Through a program where students will decide on the modifications to be performed in order to improve a chemical reaction, we will introduce concepts such as reactions in continuous flow, catalysis, or automation, among others. To consolidate what they have learned, the students will test the reaction and see how the application of new technologies in the laboratory can bring many advantages, as for instance making the safest process or obtaining cleaner products by modifying the variables of the reaction of traditional processes.

In this project, we aim to promote the scientific vocation of a group of young students with special interest and talent for chemistry, as well as boosting their enthusiasm for science and research. We want to consolidate and expand the knowledge of the students in chemistry through direct contact with experimentation, as well as to introduce novel technologies and methods within the field.

Matching profiles

Chemistry, medicinal chemistry, engineering

Learning objectives
  • Continuous flow chemistry
  • Green and sustainable chemistry
  • Catalysis and heterogeneous catalysts
  • Automatization
  • Research methodology and experimental chemistry laboratory work
Required materials

Labcoat, laptop

Coordinators of the project

Esther Alza

  • Studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at URV and obtained her PhD from ICIQ in 2011.
  • Awarded as Welcome Trust postdoctoral Fellowship to work in the University of Cambridge.
  • She came back to ICIQ in 2014 to set up the Unit ERTFLOW, future spin-off of ICIQ.
  • Major research interest in novel organic synthesis methodologies and technologies, from catalysis to flow chemistry with robotics and automatization for a fast development of new products and drugs.
Laia Pellejà

Laia Pellejà

  • Degree in Chemistry.
  • PhD by University Rovira and Virgili.
  • Researcher ICIQ’s scientific outreach programme manager.
  • Scientific interest in molecular photovoltaic devices and polyurethane.
Associated researchers
Tamas Vermes

Tamas Vermes

  • He studied the novel course “Molecular Life Science” at Firedrich Alexander University in Erlangen with the main focus on Drug Discovery, designing and synthesizing organic compounds as well as their testing in various biochemical assays.
  • In 2017 he finished his master thesis with the main topic on pathogen host interaction between phytopathogens and their hosts.
  • Since 2018 he is working in the Viro-Flow project as PhD student. Major tasks are the development and adaptation of a biochemical assay for in flow determination of the on target activity for newly synthesized compounds.
Elena Detta

Elena Detta

  • In 2017 she obtained her Master Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology from La Sapienza University of Rome, working on the synthesis of small molecules and in a molecular biology laboratory with human cell cultures.
  • Since 2018 she is working in the Viro-Flow project as PhD student Currently. Her role as part of VIRO-FLOW project is mainly focused on the design and identification of novel anti-infective agents through the exploration of multiple and diverse computational techniques.
The center
ICIQ logo

The Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) started its research activities in 2014.