Navigation Links
Environmentally friendly chemistry important for manufacturing pharmaceuticals

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
University of Gothenburg

Related medicine news :

1. Nanoparticles detect biochemistry of inflammation
2. UGA chemistry discovery could have major medical implications
3. Heroes of Chemistry: Developed new drugs and technology to cut heating and cooling bills
4. Government can play important role in obesity epidemic
5. Cancer turns off important immune cells, complicating experimental vaccine therapies
6. Timing of antibiotics important in reducing infections after C-section
7. An important breakthrough in immunology by IRCM researchers
8. Higher hospital volume more important than surgeon experience in outcome of prostate cancer surgery
9. Joslin scientists identify important mechanism that affects the aging process
10. Moffitt Cancer Center researchers: Quality of life as important as quantity of life
11. Timing pregnancy an important health concern for women
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 28, 2015 , ... ... to the creativity of two inventors, one from Lakewood, New Jersey and the other ... They developed the patent-pending PROTECTOR to save the expense of having to replace NuvaRings ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 28, 2015 , ... Pixel ... fully customizable media panels to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Users have full ... more. With the ProPanel: Pulse masking effects, users are sure to get heads to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists ... The article explains that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of ... ways to treat it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. ... Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced ... offering customers 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers ... According to a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Juntendo universitetssjukhus ser potential att använda ... magnetresonansbilder (MR-bilder) för patienter med multipel ... ett forskningsavtal med SyntheticMR AB för att ... forskningsprojekt på sjukhuset. Med SyMRI kan man ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ) ... Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" report to ... announced the addition of the "Self Administration ... offering. --> Research and Markets ( ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Global ... to their offering. --> ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... Research and Markets ( ) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: