Pyridines are circular chemical structures used in pesticides and solvents, and as building blocks for more complex compounds like pharmaceuticals. They are one of the most important chemical building blocks, and easier ways to make them will have a major impact on the chemical industry. The EU-funded ENOLATE (Investigation and expansion of the scope of enolate cross-coupling reactions) project investigated new methods to create pyridines, looking for cheaper reactions that use common precursors. Researchers tested several approaches to create pyridines, eventually finding a reaction cascade that yielded different pyridines depending on the conditions. They also looked at the effects of a wide range of conditions including temperature ranges, different solvents as well as catalysts. ENOLATE produced pyridines with a wide range of properties and a yield exceeding 80 %, which is promising for commercial application. The key discovery of the project was that a specific change in temperature over the course of the reaction could produce such high pyridine yield. Researchers also demonstrated a similar reaction using various substrates that yielded different pyridines, showing that the method is quite flexible. This new three-step methodology is set to revolutionise the chemical manufacturing industry by reducing the time and cost of pyridine synthesis.
Pyridine, building blocks, pharmaceutical, reaction, temperature, catalyst