Researchers at The College of Texas at Austin have actually found a new reaction that has the prospective to decrease the cost and streamline the manufacture of substances varying from agricultural chemicals to pharmaceutical medicines.
The reaction fixes a long-standing obstacle in organic chemistry in creating phenolic substances from aromatic hydrocarbons quickly and inexpensively.
Phenolic substances, or phenols, are generally utilized as disinfectants, fungicides and medicines to deal with lots of disorders such as Parkinson’s condition. Creating a phenol appears deceptively simple. All it needs is replacing a hydrogen molecule on a fragrant hydrocarbon with an oxygen molecule.
“This is a chemical transformation that is underdeveloped and at the same time pivotal in the production of many chemicals crucial to life as we understand it,” stated Dionicio Siegel, an assistant teacher of chemistry in the College of Natural Sciences at The College of Texas at Austin.
The secret that Siegel and his colleagues discovered is a compound called phthaloyl peroxide. This chemical was researched in the late 1950s and very early 1960s, but it has been mostly overlooked throughout the stepping in years.
The researchers were performing standard studies on phthaloyl peroxide, building on previous research, and chose to utilize it to take on the olden problem of transforming aromatic hydrocarbons into phenols.
The advantage to utilizing phthaloyl peroxide is that the response does not require the use of acids or catalysts to work, and it can add oxygen to a wide variety of starting materials.
“There are no unique conditions,” said Siegel. “You simply combine the reagents, mix them and go. It’s extremely basic and straight forward.”.
The paper describing this discovery was published last week in Nature.
The brand-new process can be put on various other problems in organic chemistry. One specific location of interest is developing metabolites to drugs. Metabolites are the items left after the body finishes breaking down, or metabolizing, a compound. When testing medicines, researchers have to think about not simply how the medicine itself reacts in the body, but also how the metabolites respond.