Boston College chemists have developed a new chemical synthesis methodology that converts chemicals known as alpha-olefins into new organic compounds. By combining a pair of catalytic reactions in sequence, the researchers converted inexpensive and plentiful chemicals into new boron-containing organic compounds prized by researchers.
The team reports in the current online edition of the journal Nature that their advance employed two catalytic reactions – one developed in their Boston College lab and another developed by colleagues at MIT. Combining the two reactions in a sequential process resulted in an unprecedented reaction that offered high levels of purity and selectivity, according to the lead researcher, Boston College Professor of Chemistry James P. Morken.
"We developed the first reaction to convert alpha-olefins into new boron compounds," said Morken. "The second reaction is a palladium-catalyzed reaction that uses a catalyst developed by a team at MIT. Together, these two reactions result in an unprecedented reaction process that works extremely well."
Organic chemists face the challenge of developing new compounds, such as medicines and materials, in a more efficient manner. A driving influence is to produce innovative compounds through simpler, more efficient processes that generate less waste and reduce costs, in particular through the use of readily available chemicals.
The team was surprised by the high level of reactivity in the boron-containing compounds from the first reaction, Morken said. The findings considerably expand the applications of alpha-olefins, a group of organic compounds distinguished by having a double bond at the primary, or alpha, position of their structure. While alpha-olefins are naturally occurring feedstocks that are usually converted into plastics, the increased reactivity that results from adding two boron atoms makes them suitable for wider range of research applications.
Morken said the new methodology should allow for the rapid and efficient production of important compounds from raw chemical feedstocks. As an example, the team used the new process to convert propene gas into phenethylamines, which are an important class of therapeutics, Morken said. In another application, the team used this new method of catalytic reactions to convert another alpha-olefin into pregabalin, which has been used in a variety of pain management drugs.
Morken conducted the research with doctoral students Scott Mlynarski and Chris Schuster, both co-authors of the Nature report.
Ed Hayward | EurekAlert!
Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences