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FRINATEK-Fri prosj.st. mat.,naturv.,tek

Ligands for the Future: The First Generation of Renewable Phosphines and N-Heterocyclic Carbenes for Sustainable Catalysis

Alternative title: Ligander for Fremtiden: Den Første Generasjon av Fornybare Fosfiner og N-Heterosykliske Karbener for Bærekraftig Katalyse

Awarded: NOK 8.0 mill.

The development of technologies assuring the present quality of life was set in the 18th century along with industrialization. The breakthrough was possible mainly because of the discovery and use of the natural fossil resources. Most of the goods we use in everyday life directly or indirectly come from fossil-derived chemicals, starting from the chair you are sitting now and ending with your today's breakfast. Unfortunately, fossil resources are not part of the carbon cycle and are not renewable, which means that sooner or later they will be depleted. This is a major global challenge that eventually will face our society. One of the main directions of modern green chemistry is the search for alternative renewable resources, which can substitute nonrenewable fossil-based chemicals and materials. So far, the main focus of researchers was on the development of alternative sources of energy, fuels and monomers that can be used for the production of renewable materials. The aim of present proposal is the development of renewable alternatives to the main operating tools of modern chemical science - namely catalysts. This will include the design of the first generation of renewable phosphines and N-heterocyclic carbenes as well as the catalysts based on these ligands. The sustainable world we attempt to build now cannot function without renewable alternatives of catalysts, which enable the vast majority of modifications and transformations undergoing in chemical industry.

Homogeneous catalysis and its well-established branch transition metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions are one of the most powerful tools of modern organic synthesis and are involved in numerous industrial processes. Modern catalysts and catalytic systems used in homogeneous catalysis without an exception are derived from non-renewable fossil resources. Fossil resources eventually will vanish, which means that the modern quality of life can be maintained only if the goods associated with fossil resources will be substituted by renewable analogues. The primary goal of the present proposal is the development of the first generation of renewable analogues of the most successful ligands and catalysts used in homogeneous catalysis. A thorough analysis of presently available renewable biosynthetic building blocks shows that this goal is achievable. Renewable analogues of Fu's, Beller's, Stradiotto's, Buchwald's and Nolan's ligands can be prepared basing on terpenes, lignin-derived phenols, cellulose-derived furanics and other biosynthetic building blocks. Developed renewable ligands further can be used for the production of corresponding renewable precatalysts. The efficiency of developed ligands and catalysts will be evaluated on model cross-coupling reactions. Following a thorough optimization, it will be demonstrated that the renewable ligands and catalysts can be at least as good as corresponding well-defined non-renewable analogues. Despite my young age, within the last 5 years I have demonstrated clear independence and excellent scientific productivity. The present grant will give me the opportunity to focus on my own research, build a strong scientific environment and conduct a research that has the potential to become a game-changer in the field of homogeneous catalysis.

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FRINATEK-Fri prosj.st. mat.,naturv.,tek