New procedure for the aerobic oxidation of a sulfoxide group to a sulfone with significant improvements in its use and storage

  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

A new procedure for the oxidation of a sulfoxide group to a sulfone group has been patented. This new process consists in the oxidation of the sulfoxide with air in the presence of a molibdenum compound as catalyst, preferentially dioxomolibdenum (VI) bis(acetilacetonate) or dinuclear derivatives coming from its partial hydrolisis.


New and innovative aspects

The main novelty of the present method is the use of air as oxidating agent, while clasical procedures make use of hydrogen peroxide, risky to store and handle due to its corrosive nature and explosive vapors.

Main advantages of its use

This new procedure is more efficient than other procedures described for the process. Moreover, air stands out for being the cheapest, most available, easiest to handle and safest oxidizing agent. Additionally, molibdenum catalysts are less toxic that commonly used ones, and are resistant to degradation under reaction conditions. Finally, byproduct formation is not observed and sulfones are easily isolable. Overall, the procedure is efficient, simple, cheap, and enviromentally friendlier than previous methods.


The present invention relates to a procedure for the oxidation of sulfoxides to sulfones using the oxygen from the air as oxidizing agent, in the presence of a molibdenum complex as catalyst, preferably dioxomolibdenum (VI) bis(acetilacetonate) or dinuclear derivatives coming from its partial hydrolisis in the presence of dimethylsulfoxide, dimethylformamide or triphenylphosphine oxide. The amount of catalyst varies from 1 mol% to 10 mol%. The synthesis is performed at atmospheric pressure and the temperature varies from 15-50 ºC. The solvent used is a low molecular weight ether. The products are obtained in excellent yields and byproducts are not observed in the reaction.


Synthesis of sulfones, that can show diverse already demonstrated propierties (drugs, pesticides, materials,…). Therefore, applications in pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries.

Intellectual property status

Protected by patent P200703331

Current development status

In use, test results available

Desired business relationship

Commercial Agreement

Related Keywords

  • Industrial Technologies
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Agriculture and Marine Resources
  • Industrial Products
  • Other
  • Medical Health related
  • Sulfoxide
  • sulfone
  • aerobic oxidation


The aim of the The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the Univesidad de Burgos is to promote Innovation technology through the reseach results transfer and the conexions between the University and the new needs and requirements of the society - we are the link between the University and the Industry. Contact person: José Manuel López (


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