Coupling reactions and separations for improved synthetic processes

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Charney, Reagan R.
Liotta, Charles L.
Eckert, Charles A.
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This thesis showcases a work that focused on developing processes with improved economic and environmental signatures. It illustrates the strengths of chemists and chemical engineers working together towards sustainable solutions. The joint collaboration between Drs. Liotta and Eckert allows the combination of disciplines to overcome economic and environment obstacles. This thesis depicts the application of chemical engineering and chemistry for industrial processes towards reducing cost and environmental impact. In chapter 2, a synthetic sequence yielding a pharmaceutical precursor was optimized for continuous processing. The precursor was for the pharmaceutical drug Ro 31-8959, which acts as a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitor. A continuous flow reactor was designed, built and utilized successfully for the two-step reaction of the diazoketone pharmaceutical precursor, (1-benzyl-3-chloro-2-hydroxy-propyl)-carbamic acid tert-butyl ester. The best configuration for the continuous flow reactor involved a single and double coiled stainless steel reactor packed with glass beads. The yield obtained for the diazoketone was quantitative. In chapter 3, the cleavable surfactant (cleavable surfactants decompose in non-surface active ingredients upon stimulus), n-octyl thiirane oxide was synthesized, characterized and its surface activity and loss of surface activity upon heating was demonstrated. The n-octyl thiirane oxide surfactant activity was measured using a dye, Suddan III, and compared to a commercially available surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate. In chapter 4, 5-amino-1H-tetrazole was synthesized using two novel synthetic routes starting from benign chemicals. Both routes involved Sharpless click chemistry in the first step to form the tetrazole ring. Both routes also used hydrogen transfer as the last step for the formation of the 5-amino-1H-tetrazole. These syntheses eliminated the use of highly toxic and/or explosive chemicals such as cyanamide, hydrazoic acid, and hydrazine. Finally in chapter 5, phase transfer catalysis was used as a means to improve reaction rates and yields between a siloxylated reagent (in the liquid phase) and insoluble ionic reagents (in the solid phase). The activity of commercial phase transfer catalysts like tetra-n-butylammonium bromide was compared to the activity of two novel custom-made siloxylated phase transfer catalysts. Surprisingly, the tetra-n-butylammonium resulted in superior rate constants to the custom made siloxylated phase transfer catalysts.
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