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Development of new Asymmetric Catalysts for Chemical Manufacturing


This is a proposal for a joint research project involving 7 partners (2 Russian, 1 Armenian, 1 German, 1 French, and 2 British), which thus involves 3 non-affiliated partners from the NIS and 4 from the EU. Three of the partners are established, highly distinguished researchers with international reputations, the other four are younger academics with very promising potential. The proposal will provide funding for ten young chemists, all of whom it is expected will be of NIS/CCE origin. Six of these chemists will be based in the NIS, and four in the EU. Each of the chemists based in the NIS will spend approximately 1 year on secondment to one of the EU laboratories. All of the chemists funded by this project will benefit from the experience of working on a highly interdisciplinary, industrially relevant project. By providing support for established academics, young academics and young chemists, this project will safeguard the present and future research potential of both the EU and NIS in chemistry which is a key underpinning technology for much of the established and potential European industry.

The aim of this proposal is to develop and exploit new asymmetric catalysts for carbon-carbon bond forming reactions. The project is truly collaborative, as catalysts prepared at one site will be tested in a number of other laboratories for activity in a number of carbon-carbon bond forming reactions. The catalysts developed in the course of this work will be of immediate benefit to the existing chemical industry both within the EU, and in the NIS. The catalysts will allow commercially important chemicals to be manufactured in a more cost effective manner, and particularly in the case of the NIS will result in a considerably more environmentally friendly (lower pollution) manufacturing process than those currently employed. Hence, this project will result in increased efficiency of the chemical industry, with subsequent financial and employment benefits. All of the applicants have existing contacts in a large number of chemical companies, ranging from large multinational corporations to local SME's, hence it is expected that the results of this research will be rapidly transferred to the relevant industrial sector. Where appropriate, patent protection will be undertaken by the collaborating institutes either independently or in collaboration with a suitable company.

In this project, new chiral catalysts of three basic designs will be prepared. These are: diketopiperazines paracyclophane derivatives, and polyfunctional catalysts. These catalysts are of novel design, and incorporate structural features which should lead to excellent catalytic activity. They will be tested for activity in the following asymmetric carbon-carbon bond forming reactions: hydrocyanation and silylcyanation of carbonyls, Grignard addition to carbonyls, carbon-hydrogen bond activation, hydroformylation, and tandem cascade reactions. Each of these reactions will be investigated both synthetically and mechanistically, and the results obtained with a particular catalyst will be used to design new catalysts with further improved activity in a iterative process. By combining the work on each of these catalytic processes into a single proposal, a considerable efficiency increase will be achieved, as each catalyst need only be prepared once to be subsequent tested on a variety of reactions.

The applicants of this proposal are currently collaborating on an INTAS funded project in a related area. Hence, a project management structure has already been established, and all of the applicants have experience of collaborating together. The coordinator of this proposal is also the coordinator of the INTAS grant, and so has experience in the management of this type of project, including the transfer of funds to NIS countries.

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
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United Kingdom

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Participants (6)