Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dual catalysts help synthesize alpha-olefins into new organic compounds

Date:
December 19, 2013
Source:
Boston College
Summary:
Chemists have developed a method to convert chemicals known as alpha-olefins into new organic compounds. Combining a pair of catalytic reactions in sequence converted inexpensive chemicals into new organic compounds that are highly sought after by researchers in medicine and the life sciences.

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 borons 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Scott N. Mlynarski, Christopher H. Schuster, James P. Morken. Asymmetric synthesis from terminal alkenes by cascades of diboration and cross-coupling. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/nature12781

Cite This Page:

Boston College. "Dual catalysts help synthesize alpha-olefins into new organic compounds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219200114.htm>.
Boston College. (2013, December 19). Dual catalysts help synthesize alpha-olefins into new organic compounds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219200114.htm
Boston College. "Dual catalysts help synthesize alpha-olefins into new organic compounds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219200114.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins