How Can We Discover More Chemical Reactions? — Chromatography Explores
Aug 17 2017 Read 973 Times
Finding new chemical reactions can be a laborious process — but it is an important process that could lead to novel products and large cost savings. Often the process means working on paper using hundreds, if not thousands, of reactions that have been previously carried out to see what small changes might bring about.
But with thousands of molecules to use and many different catalysts that can be used, the process is costly and time consuming. In a paper in the journal Science — Snap deconvolution: An informatics approach to high-throughput discovery of catalytic reactions — chemists from the University of California, Berkeley suggest a method they have called snap deconvolution could help to speed up the process.
Finding needles in haystacks
Chemists searching for new materials or methods react compounds from a library of compounds two at a time — typically with a catalyst — and then screen the results for new compounds using gas chromatography mass spectrometry to identify the products. The use of chromatography to screen for components is discussed in the article, Rapid Screening of Volatile and Semi-Volatile Organic Components in Cocoa Beans and Chocolate Products Using a Portable GC/MS System.
This is the approach that was used by the chemists at Berkeley but they have managed to speed the process up using better data analysis — allowing them to screen three times as many reactions each day. And it involves a simple manipulation of the starting masses of the reactants.
Rehash of an ‘old’ idea
The process that John Hartwig and his postdoc Konstantin Troshin is based on a process that Hartwig first used in 2011 to provide a shortcut to the screening process. That process involved reacting the starting molecules together with different catalysts and conditions. The products were then screened using GC-MS.
The basic idea was that if you know the masses of the reactants, by measuring the masses of the products you can tell what reactions had taken place. However, if the reactants had similar masses it was difficult to analyse what reactions had taken place. The method has advantages over other screening methods in that there are no fluorescent labels — these are typically used to follow molecules through reactions.
The new method involved filling a tray of wells up with reactants using different types and quantities of catalysts — metal ligands. — before heating the tray to 100˚C for several hours. But the reactants were modified to help the team spot new reactions. They added inert substituents to the reactants whose mass was known. This made the subsequent analysis after GC-MS mush quicker.
Besides the team finding that the analysis was quicker, they also found new reactions. Other chemists are excited about the new method and its possibilities.
Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.
Nov 15 2017 Read 1455 Times
In This Issue... Articles - Industrial Applications of Offline and Online Comprehensive Gas Chromatography - Improving Workflow in Group-Type GC×GC Analysis of Petrochemicals - Identifi ca...
View all digital editions
May 13 2018 Riva del Garda, Italy
Jun 03 2018 San Diego, CA, USA
Jun 11 2018 Frankfurt, Germany
Jun 19 2018 Busan, Korea
Jul 08 2018 Baltimore, MD, USA