The Lab Notes

Here, we bring you the latest trends, in-depth analyses, and practical tips from the world of industrial chemistry and chemical engineering.

Process Chemistry Articles

Written by Jonathan Moseley - July 4th, 2024. A recent review on the “Diversification of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Processes: Taking the Plunge into the Non-PGM Catalyst Pool” in ACS Catalysis by a combined academic/pharma/catalyst supplier group caught my eye this week (ACS Catal. 2024, 14, 9708-9733; https://doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.4c01809) (PGM = platinum group metal, specifically Ru, Rh, Pd,…

Process Chemistry Articles

Written by John Studley - June 13th, 2024. Aryl diazonium salts are a mainstay of organic and industrial chemistry. A recent review by Mo and Wang in Chemical Reviews gives a detailed summary of their properties and applications.1a,b Discovered in 1858 by Johann Peter Griefs, these versatile intermediates are prepared by low temperature reaction of…

General

Written by Ben Littler - May 16th, 2024. No piece of apparatus caused me more trouble in graduate school in the mid-1990’s than water cooled reflux condensers. The laboratory that I worked in was several floors up in a relatively old building which resulted in wide fluctuations in water pressure. Setting up an overnight reaction…

Process Chemistry Articles

Written by John Studley - May 7th, 2024. As most process chemists know (but perhaps not so many discovery chemists) DMSO is nasty material. It undergoes explosive autocatalytic decomposition at or near its boiling point (189°C) generating non-condensable gases and concomitant extremely rapid pressure increases that can rupture a reactor vessel like a knife through…

Book reviews

Written by Jonathan Moseley - April 17th, 2024. No relation to the Madonna song, but rather the title of a book by Ed Conway, an economist and journalist, regarding the Material World in which we live. And if like me, you have a general interest in chemistry, as well as some interest in economics and…

Process Chemistry Articles

Written by John Studley - March 19th, 2024. In this post I’m highlighting a couple of papers that are essentially two sides of the same coin. As a process chemist, I’ll be the first to admit that the chemistry I’m about to describe is not going to end up in your manufacturing route any time…

Process Chemistry Articles

In George Orwell’s classic 1945 novella ‘Animal Farm’ the revolutionary livestock develop the slogan “Four legs good, two legs bad” to summarize their views on the farmer and other humans. As the novella progresses, we see that things cannot be simplified so readily, and so I was encouraged by the recent excellent article by Brianna…

Process Chemistry Articles

The introduction of bromine into intermediates is a key transformation in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other high value materials, due to the reactivity and selectivity it offers for further transformation, over for example the generally cheaper, more common but less reactive chlorinated analogues. Bromine is commonly introduced by one of three reagents: bromine itself…

Process Chemistry Articles

Organolithium reagents are powerful and ubiquitous intermediates used extensively in synthetic chemistry both in academic and industrial settings. The stability of these reagents often necessitates generation and rapid processing at cryogenic temperatures: some organolithium species are chemically or configurationally unstable at temperatures above -100°C. An example is the dichloromethyllithium anion generated during the Mattison homologation…

Process Chemistry Articles

In December 2023 Nick Tyrell from ALMAC gave an interesting and timely presentation at our Winer Process Chemistry Conference in Liverpool, UK on the proposed EU ban of all per- and poly-fluorinated materials, including polymers and the fluorinating reagents we use routinely to introduce fluorine or fluorine-containing functional groups into complex molecules. The details of…