Nanyang Technological University (NTU)'s Associate Professor Zhong Guofu has made a significant contribution to the field of organic chemistry, in particular the study of using small organic molecules as catalysts, in the synthesis process called organocatalysis. Such synthesis process takes place for example, during the production of chiral drugs.
In his study, Professor Zhong, who is from NTU's School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, has successfully created the first example where an organocatalyst is able to be 'recycled' (i.e. multiple reactions achieved with the recycled catalyst) during the synthesis process thus increasing its yield/effectiveness. Previously no one has been able to 'recycle' the organocatalysts directly (i.e. only single reactions performed) leading to the limitation of the use of organocatalysis in the industry.
This ability to 'recycle' and produce multiple reactions thus increases the efficacy of the organocatalysis, making it a more efficient process, something that has not been demonstrated before. It also means that fewer chemicals are used in the synthesis process, making it a far more 'green' and less toxic process.
Professor Zhong has written a paper on his discovery, which has been published in a recent edition of the scientific journal ChemComm.
The study of organocatalysis using organic molecules (which exists in nature, e.g. protein, amino acids) is a relatively new idea that started less than 10 years ago. The present dominant catalysts used in such synthesis process are 'ligand-metal catalysts' (such as ligand-copper, -palladium, -platinum, -ruthenium etc). However when compared to organocatalysts, ligand-metal catalysis is considered less 'green' and thus more 'toxic'.
However, the problem with using organocatalysts is that it is usually not an efficient or cost effective process since relatively a high catalyst loading is needed, compared to ligand-metal catalysis.
Professor Zhong is seeking patent in the United States for his hi process, which will be useful for the synthesis of certain chiral drug molecules which will be less toxic and produced under more efficient processes. The other advantage is that this process is considered 'highly enantioselective' – producing asymmetric synthesis that is desirable, for example, in synthesising certain drugs with chiral centers.
Professor Zhong is also filing for another patent related to his findings on domino synthesis, where the production process of one of the leading anti-cholesterol drugs in the world will be able to be shortened from its present 11 production steps to only 2-3 steps in the synthesis of its core intermediate. Pharmaceutical firms have expressed interest in adopting his methodology in their drug discovery and production process.
Hisham Hambari | EurekAlert!
Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society
127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences