Online quantitative mass spectrometry for the rapid adaptive optimisation of automated flow reactors

N. Holmes, G.R. Akien, R.J.D. Savage, C. Stanetty, I.R. Baxendale, A.J. Blacker, B.A. Taylor, R.L. Woodward, R.E. Meadows, and R.A. Bourne

An automated continuous reactor for the synthesis of organic compounds, which uses online mass spectrometry (MS) for reaction monitoring and product quantification, is presented. Quantitative and rapid MS monitoring was developed and calibrated using HPLC. The amidation of methyl nicotinate with aqueous MeNH2 was optimised using design of experiments and a self-optimisation algorithm approach to produce >93% yield.