Green chemical synthesis using atmospheric oxygen and clay minerals
University of Idaho Seed Grant
In the preparation of valuable compounds, oxidative chemical reactions typically produce large quantities of toxic or hazardous waste byproducts. An ideal green oxidation reaction would be one that uses a non-toxic, inexpensive, reusable catalyst and an environmentally benign oxidant such as air. The aim of this project is to investigate and develop a newly-discovered reaction that satisfies these criteria. We have recently shown that certain clay minerals are able to catalyze the aerobic oxidative aromatization of select substrates. We presently wish to explore and optimize this chemistry by screening a large number of solid catalysts, reaction conditions, and substrates. Ultimately, we propose to develop a practical environmentally friendly synthetic method that will be of broad value to the synthetic chemistry research community in academia and in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical research sectors.