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Chementator: A commercial breakthrough in alcohol oxidation    

By Gerald Ondrey |

Nissan Chemical Industries Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; edlinks.chemengonline.com/7373-538) is commercializing "ultrahighly active" catalysts, based on the catalyst technology developed by professor Yoshiharu Iwabuchi of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan), which catalyzes the oxidation of alcohols into carbonyl compounds. Conventional catalysts, such as 2,2,6,6-tetraethyl piperidine-N-oxyl (TEMPO) derivatives, are ineffective for oxidizing sterically hindered alcohols, limiting their applicability to primary alcohols. The activity of the new catalyst is said to be about 20 times greater than TEMPO derivatives, and yields are typically over 90% at low (0°C) temperature with low catalyst loading of 0.01 mol% in most cases, which leads to fewer side products and lower operating costs. The new catalysts are 2-azaadamantane N-oxyl (AZADO) derivatives (diagram), which are made by a four-step synthesis that was developed cooperatively by Nissan Chemical and professor Iwabuchi. AZADO derivatives are characterized by nitroxy radicals, which, when combined with inexpensive co-oxidizers such as sodium hypochlorite and sodium chlorite, show a "remarkable" catalytic efficiency for the…
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