In many important chemical processes, the laminar flow regime is inescapable and defines the performance of reactors, separators, and analytical instruments. In the emerging field of microchemical process or lab-on-a-chip, this constraint is particularly rigid. Here, we review developments in the use of chaotic laminar flows to improve common transport processes in this regime. We focus on four: mixing, interfacial transfer, axial dispersion, and spatial sampling. Our coverage demonstrates the potential for chaos to improve these processes if implemented appropriately. Throughout, we emphasize the usefulness of familiar theoretical models of transport for processes occurring in chaotic flows. Finally, we point out open challenges and opportunities in the field.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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