Funded by the European Social Fund and by the „Sächsische Aufbaubank“ young scientists from four research groups are trained interdisciplinarily on the promising technology field „Heterogeneously Catalysed Synthetic Processes in Flow Systems" (translated title) throughout their doctorates gaining higher qualification levels for the Saxon labour market. These measures are designed to support an efficient and direct knowledge transfer from university to industry in Saxony.
Heterogeneously Catalysed Synthetic Processes in Flow Systems
(01 Jan. 2020 – 31 Dec. 2022)
Funded by the European Social Fund and by the Sächsische AufbauBank the general goal of the titled research project is to develop new processes for the stereoselective synthesis of fine chemicals in order to improve economical efficiency and environmental friendliness of current procedures. Pharmaceuticals, crop protection agents, fragrances, and dyes are essential as prominent fine chemicals for the daily life and are among the most important interim products in the chemical industry and in the life science industries. It is planned to develop new chiral catalysts immobilized on well-defined carrier materials for the application in continuous flow reactions. Such setup allows an efficient and instant control of reaction parameters such as flow rate, mixing times, and heat transfer. Moreover, the envisioned application of on-line monitoring of reaction progress by distinct spectroscopic methods enables improvements on reaction times, yields and turn-over capability of the catalysts. Furthermore, the usually expensive and time consuming separation of the product from the catalyst can be easily avoided. The implementation of such processes to micro reactors gives access to all benefits known from Lab-on-a-chip setups and allows the fast optimization of reaction parameters, the on-line monitoring of reaction progress by analytical standard techniques, and the on-line characterization of transient reaction intermediates characterized by its minimal use of energy, water, and chemicals. The long-term goal for this research investigation is to provide a significant contribution for a sustainable, up-to-date, and resource-saving production of fine chemicals.
Presentation of the Project Areas
In this project field the immobilization of chiral BINOL-based phosphoric acids on well-defined carrier materials is planned for the application in flow reactors enabling the continuous synthesis of large amounts of highly complex, enantiomerically-enriched oxygen- and/or nitrogen-containing heterocycles. We expect from such processes fast reaction optimizations, short reaction times, improved yields, better reproducibility and scalabilities of the reactions, simplified separation steps, and high levels of reusability of the catalysts.
In this project field a miniaturized analysis system is planned for the investigation of heterogeneously catalysed reactions in microfluidic systems combining high performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). By following the lab-on-a-chip concept the integration of one or more micro reactors packed with immobilized chiral catalysts together with the installation of pressure-driven chromatographic purification units and interfaces for mass spectrometry measurements should realize the envisioned seamless connection of reaction performance, purification, and analysis steps combined in just one unit.
In this project field the synthesis of monolithic carrier systems based on silica materials with hierarchical structure of mesopores is planned. By utilizing the ability to control both pore sizes, shape, and size of monolith independently the performance of heterogeneously-bound chiral organocatalysts can be easily modified and enables custom-fit adjustments on the planned process as well as the implementation on macro and micro fluidic systems. The application of the immobilized catalysts in enantioselective reactions under continuous flow conditions should give information about the influence of mesoporous systems on activity, selectivity, and stability of the catalysts. .
In this project field the on-line monitoring and enantiospecific determination of transient reaction intermediates formed under micro fluidic conditions is planned utilizing mass spectrometric and laser spectroscopic methods. Moreover, structural characterization will be completed with the help of quantum-chemical computational methods and should give important insights in reaction mechanisms supporting the systematic optimization of the catalyst design.
Homepages of all Participating Research Groups
- Prof. Dr. Christoph Schneider (Institute of Organic Chemistry)
- Prof. Dr. Detlev Belder (Institute of Analytical Chemistry) (opens in a new tab)
- Prof. Dr. Roger Gläser (Institute of Chemical Technology) (opens in a new tab)
- Prof. Dr. Knut R. Asmis (W.O.I. for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry) (opens in a new tab)