A couple of weeks ago I attended the 20th annual Bristol Synthesis Meeting at the Victoria rooms in Bristol, UK.1 Always an excellent event, and this one was no exception. I was intrigued by a presentation given by Franziska Schoenebeck from the University of Aachen, Germany on the application of organogermanes in cross coupling chemistry.
Category: Process Chemistry Articles
Biocatalysis has the potential to transform how process chemists make molecules, both in terms of improving existing routes to be more sustainable, and to enable shorter new routes via transformations not feasible using chemical methods. A recent review by a team at Pfizer (S.P. France et. al. JACS Au 2023, 3, 715-735) gives an excellent
I don’t usually post articles on total synthesis. Their beauty often speaks for itself. However, a recent paper by Zhang and co-workers started me on a trip down memory lane. The paper describes a short, elegant route into the core 1-azabicyclo[4.3.0]nonane structure of the Indolizidine alkaloids (figure 1).1 Together with the structurally related pyrrolizidines (1-azabicyclo[3.3.0]octane),
The technology-driven world we live in seems to become more complex, more quickly, with every passing day. At a systems level, higher education has responded to the needs of a complex world by promoting specialism, and encouraging deep-dive learning in relatively narrow fields. Specialist expertise is to be valued, but developing the new sustainable processes
Last week I was in Madrid running our chemical development and scale up course. I met a great group of people, one of whom worked at Dynamit Nobel. During a coffee break we struck up a conversation about (of all things) azides, in particular sodium azide. Fairly quickly we both discovered that we had no
For the past decade I have been intrigued by the emergence of micelle technology and its ability to enable many organic reactions in water, but perplexed about why the reactions work as effectively as they do, and have been waiting for more universal reaction conditions. Two recent papers address these issues. The title of the
Several weeks ago I did my annual analysis of the synthetic routes used to prepare small molecule drugs approved by the FDA in the preceding year, obviously in this case 2022.1 I hope those of you who have seen the presentation found it as interesting to watch as I found to put it together. One
Almost Two Centuries Later, Functional Group Tolerant Conditions Identified for the Electrochemical Kolbe Coupling!
Two principles that we at Scientific Update teach in the foundational “Chemical Development” course are that new experimental methods can open new opportunities for old reactions, and that as scientists we should be looking to understand the mechanisms of empirical observations. Both of these principles are exemplified in by a recent pre-print publication by the
“How many steps are there in a synthetic route?” is one of the foundational questions for any chemist, but as with many apparently simple questions, the answer isn’t always that simple. In many cases chemists are incentivized to give an artificially low step count because it makes their new route look better and therefore more
Love it or hate it, triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO, Figure 1) is something we all encounter at some point during our chemistry careers. Most of the time it’s just a by-product from well-established and widely used process such as the Mitsunobou, Wittig, Staudinger, Appel and Corey-Fuchs reactions.1 I remember having a vial full of the white,