In drug discovery, microwaves are common tools for heating reactions to high temperatures and pressures so that it is possible to synthesize compounds in minutes that might otherwise take hours by conventional heating. However, another environment where this is a considerable advantage is in the teaching laboratory. By greatly speeding reaction rates, students can try multi-step synthesis is a single day, and look at the effect of altering reaction conditions on products and yields.
Flash chromatography is a standard part of an organic chemist’s workflow. It is utilized after most reaction steps in order to remove most of the generated by-products and excess reagents.