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Enabling Methods for Cleaner Chemical Synthesis

Summary of the impact

The pioneering work of Steven Ley on polymer-supported reagents and continuous-flow reaction technology has helped change the way we achieve cleaner chemical processes. The concepts and techniques invented in Cambridge allow more sustainable processes to be developed, with concomitant reduction in purification steps, shorter reaction times and diminished solvent usage. The work has led to a spin-out company (Reaxa), seeded the creation of a number of other companies, and resulted in the development of several devices for continuous flow synthesis that are now commercially available via Mettler-Toledo (USA) and Cambridge Reactor Design (UK). This technology is having an impact in industry, with continuous flow processing increasingly being used for full-scale commercial production.

Submitting Institution

University of Cambridge

Unit of Assessment


Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Chemical Sciences: Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Other Chemical Sciences

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