Recent Changes in Patenting Behavior in Microprocess Technology and its Possible Use for Gas–Liquid Reactions and the Oxidation of Glucose



The miniaturization of continuous processes has been of increasing interest in the past decade, and microreaction technology and flow chemistry have moved from academic and industrial research to commercial applications. With industry taking up such innovations, this trend is also reflected in the patenting behavior of companies active in this area. This review is a continuation of the review paper on microreactor patents published by Hessel et al. and indicates major changes in patenting trends since 2006. Moreover, a different patent database search algorithm is presented, which complements the algorithm explained in the previous review. In addition, the preservation of intellectual property is analyzed for multiphase reactions and particularly solid-catalyzed gas–liquid reactions in microreactors, which play an important role in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and are reactions that benefit largely from microprocessing. Among other results, we show that the number of patents has increased in this field, with solid-catalyst design and deposition, control of the flow pattern, and ensured stable flow as the main challenges.