08.03.2019 change 08.03.2019

Researchers from the University of Silesia patented an innovative nanocatalyst

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Researchers from the University of Silesia in Katowice patented a nanocatalyst that allows to conduct reactions in a more efficient manner and with less contamination. It can be used, for example, in the pharmaceutical industry.

According to the solution co-author Dr. Piotr Bartczak from the Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Silesia, the nanocatalyst was developed for the Sonogashira coupling reaction, whose name comes from the name of its co-discoverer - chemist of Japanese origin Kenkichi Sonogashira.

"Many researchers carry it out, it is quite popular. It consists in coupling two compounds in an alkaline environment: a terminal alkyne and an aryl or vinyl halide. As a result of coupling, a new carbon-carbon bond is formed between the carbon particles present in said compounds. It is during the formation of this bond that various catalysts can be used, including our patented Pd/Cu nanocatalyst" - the scientist explains.

The Pd/Cu nanocatalyst is in the form of a powder. Coupling reactions with its participation are very efficient. It also has a relatively low cost of production due to the availability of materials. It can be repeatedly used to carry out reactions.

Chemical compounds containing triple bonds, which form also as a result of Sonogashira coupling, are currently the subject of many studies. The last eight years have brought over a dozen thousand articles in scientific journals per year. Half a million of such compounds are known, with one hundred thousand being the objects of research on their biological activity.

"Such compounds have, for example, antineoplastic, antifungal or antibacterial effects. They can also be used in diagnosis for histopathological tests, and therefore are an interesting object for the pharmaceutical industry" - says Dr. Piotr Bartczak. He emphasises that usually when such reactions were carried out, the products contained too much toxic elements, in this case copper. It turned out that the nanocatalyst developed by scientists from the University of Silesia allows to easily and cheaply removed the remnants of the element and obtain a cleaner product.

"Therefore, we do not create new reactions, but thanks to the patented product, which is our Pd/Cu nanocatalyst, we can conduct known reactions in a more efficient way, generating less impurities. The solution proposed by our team will certainly interest all scientists who use Sonogashira coupling reaction in their research or are looking for new chemical compounds with triple bonds in their structure" - the chemist concluded.

The authors of the invention are: Dr. Piotr Bartczak, associate dean for mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry Prof. Jarosław Polański, Dr. Mateusz Korzec and Dr. Maciej Kapkowski.

PAP - Science in Poland, Anna Gumułka

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