Two new procedures to improve sustainability in the chemical industry

Spanish researchers have developed two strategies to reduce organic molecules

Compounds containing nitrogen and sulfur atoms in their structure are very relevant, not only in industry, but also for the proper functioning of all living organisms. For this reason, the development of new procedures that allow the preparation and / or transformation of this type of compounds has become a topic of great relevance within organic chemistry.

Specifically, sulfides (sulfur compounds) and amines (nitrogenous compounds) are two of the substrates that generate the most interest. One of the most common ways to synthesize these compounds is from their oxygenated derivatives, sulfoxides and nitrocompounds, through deoxygenation reactions.

At this point, the SINTORG research group (New Methods in Organic Synthesis), led by Professor Roberto Sanz, has developed two procedures that allow obtaining these compounds quickly and efficiently.

The success of these transformations lies in the use of a catalyst of molybdenum and γ-terpinene. The latter is a natural compound obtained from biomass and that, in these transformations, acts as a reducing agent. Under the conditions set-up, the formation of the final compounds is achieved with very good yields. In addition, the by-products generated do not have a high toxicity and can be easily eliminated. All this makes these procedures two ideal routes for the synthesis of sulfides and amines from sulfoxides and nitrocompounds, respectively.

Given the potential of these synthetic protocols, recently, in collaboration with OTRI, their protection has been requested through two patents: P202330200 and P202330202.

The SINTORG research group, during the last years, has been a pioneer in the design of environmentally benign synthetic routes for the preparation of a wide variety of organic compounds. This is reflected in the high level of scientific publications and in the large number of patents that the members of this group in the area of organic chemistry hold.