Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Environmentally friendly chemistry important for manufacturing pharmaceuticals

08.11.2012
Limiting the quantity of catalysts – substances that trigger a chemical reaction – used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals is important, and research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has now demonstrated that small quantities of copper work well in this respect.

“This is an important finding, not just academically but also for industry,” says chemist Per-Fredrik Larsson.

Catalysis is an incredibly valuable tool in the field of chemistry, with the Haber-Bosch process being one of the most important catalytic processes in the world. It is used to manufacture fertilizer, and calculations show that without it the world’s population would be just half of what it is today.

Precious metals are often used as catalysts in organic chemistry as they enable the production of many organic molecules with applications in areas such as pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. As recently as 2010 Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on palladium catalysis.

“A problem with precious metals like palladium is that they are both expensive and harmful to the environment,” says Per-Fredrik Larsson at the Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology.

Recent years have seen researchers evaluating several different non-precious metals – primarily iron and copper – as cheap and environmentally friendly alternatives to precious metals.

“Iron catalysts have proven to be a competitive alternative to precious metals for a number of reactions,” says Per-Fredrik Larsson. “An in-depth understanding of how these reactions work is incredibly important if we are to take this further. The results from our studies with iron led to several important insights into just how complex the chemistry can be.”

Larsson’s research group works not only with experimental methods but also with calculation models to understand how the chemistry works.

The trend for swapping precious metals for non-precious alternatives also has a flipside. It was discovered during experiments with iron catalysis in conjunction with professor Carsten Bolm of RWTH Aachen University in Germany that some reactions thought to be catalysed by iron had actually been catalysed by traces of copper in the commercially available iron source.

The fact that traces of copper could catalyse a number of different reactions was surprising as copper had previously been thought to be an ineffective catalyst requiring large quantities and high reaction temperatures.

“Our results show that copper has been given an undeservedly bad name as a catalyst,” says Per-Fredrik Larsson. “Given that copper chemistry is over a century old, it’s surprising that nobody’s realised this before.”

It is important in the pharmaceutical industry to limit the use of catalysts as the quantity of metal in the end-product is strictly regulated and the recovery process can be both difficult and expensive. As such, the finding that small quantities of copper can be used is an important discovery.

“We’ve developed and studied reactions with small quantities of copper and tried to understand how and why they work,” says Per-Fredrik Larsson.

The results and conclusions for iron and copper catalysts are a major contribution to this field of research and are important for its continued development.

Contact:
Per-Fredrik Larsson, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology,
tel: +46 (0)31 786 9104
or +46 (0)701 432640,
e-mail: per-fredrik.larsson@chem.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Full of hot air and proud of it
18.04.2018 | University of Pittsburgh

nachricht Keeping the excitement under control
18.04.2018 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Gammastrahlungsblitze aus Plasmafäden

Neuartige hocheffiziente und brillante Quelle für Gammastrahlung: Anhand von Modellrechnungen haben Physiker des Heidelberger MPI für Kernphysik eine neue Methode für eine effiziente und brillante Gammastrahlungsquelle vorgeschlagen. Ein gigantischer Gammastrahlungsblitz wird hier durch die Wechselwirkung eines dichten ultra-relativistischen Elektronenstrahls mit einem dünnen leitenden Festkörper erzeugt. Die reichliche Produktion energetischer Gammastrahlen beruht auf der Aufspaltung des Elektronenstrahls in einzelne Filamente, während dieser den Festkörper durchquert. Die erreichbare Energie und Intensität der Gammastrahlung eröffnet neue und fundamentale Experimente in der Kernphysik.

Die typische Wellenlänge des Lichtes, die mit einem Objekt des Mikrokosmos wechselwirkt, ist umso kürzer, je kleiner dieses Objekt ist. Für Atome reicht dies...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Wie schwingt ein Molekül, wenn es berührt wird?

Physiker aus Regensburg, Kanazawa und Kalmar untersuchen Einfluss eines äußeren Kraftfeldes

Physiker der Universität Regensburg (Deutschland), der Kanazawa University (Japan) und der Linnaeus University in Kalmar (Schweden) haben den Einfluss eines...

Im Focus: Basler Forschern gelingt die Züchtung von Knorpel aus Stammzellen

Aus Stammzellen aus dem Knochenmark von Erwachsenen lassen sich stabile Gelenkknorpel herstellen. Diese Zellen können so gesteuert werden, dass sie molekulare Prozesse der embryonalen Entwicklung des Knorpelgewebes durchlaufen, wie Forschende des Departements Biomedizin von Universität und Universitätsspital Basel im Fachmagazin PNAS berichten.

Bestimmte mesenchymale Stamm-/Stromazellen aus dem Knochenmark von Erwachsenen gelten als äusserst viel versprechend für die Regeneration von Skelettgewebe....

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industrie & Wirtschaft
Veranstaltungen

DFG unterstützt Kongresse und Tagungen - Juni 2018

17.04.2018 | Veranstaltungen

Stralsunder IT-Sicherheitskonferenz im Mai zum 7. Mal an der Hochschule Stralsund

12.04.2018 | Veranstaltungen

Materialien erlebbar machen - MatX 2018 - Internationale Konferenz für Materialinnovationen

12.04.2018 | Veranstaltungen

VideoLinks
Wissenschaft & Forschung
Weitere VideoLinks im Überblick >>>
 
Aktuelle Beiträge

Laser erzeugt Magnet – und radiert ihn wieder aus

18.04.2018 | Physik Astronomie

Neue Technik macht Mikro-3D-Drucker präziser

18.04.2018 | Physik Astronomie

Intelligente Bauteile für das Stromnetz der Zukunft

18.04.2018 | Energie und Elektrotechnik

Weitere B2B-VideoLinks
IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics