Our research is focused on the synthesis of organometallic complexes having in mind their immediate applications as catalysts to the organic synthesis. We are trying to develop efficient and low-waste catalytic methods for selective synthesis of natural and pharmaceutically relevant compounds, transformation of biomass, sustainable production of fine chemicals, etc.
Yin and yang of Cats and Transformations
Yin-yang artwork ©2018 Irina Mir, Valdivia, Chile (instagram/irmirx/)
Our goal is to develop innovative strategies and industry-friendly protocols that allow to produce various target molecules utilising the smallest possible amount of catalyst in a clean and environment friendly ways.
Concepts developed by us, such as the EWG activation / EDG deactivation of the Hoveyda-Grubbs catalyst, novel Ru···E chelates (E = S, N, Br, I), 'sticky' ammonium-tags, were not only used in Warsaw to 'produce' scientific publications, but were almost instantly assimilated by industrial players that deployed them to the market.
New specialised catalysts developed by us are based on tailored NHC and CAAC ligands. The innovative ruthenium catalysts, being recently patented, contain i.a. unsymmetrical NHC ligands and exhibit perfect selectivity in challenging ethenolysis of oleic esters from biomass, in cross-metathesis of α-olefins and in RCM of dienes leading to macrocyclic musk-smelling compounds. A copper complex bearing chiral NHC ligand showed high enantioselectivity in the β-borylation reaction.
We were lucky to introduce a number of partners for cross-metathesis reaction, such as vinyl sulfones and sulfoxides, P-chiral vinyl phosphine oxides, vinyl halides, allyl nitro compounds and more. We also developed new ring closing technique to obtain macrocyclic compounds, including macrocyclic musks, at relatively high concentration.
We have published a series of papers on the doping effect of fluorinated aromatic hydrocarbon solvents on the performance of the olefin metathesis reaction. Together with the respective technology owner, Apeiron Synthesis S.A. we worked on an innovative scavenger, that allows to obtain low levels of heavy metal contamination after a simple and waste-free purification.
Current areas of investigation encompass the design of new user-friendly, supported or 'self-cleaning' catalysts and extending their application scope utilising flow techniques, microwaves or ultrasounds. At the same time, we have developed a number of tandem transformations, such as metathesis-reductions, metathesis-oxidations, metathesis-borylations, etc. to make the chemical synthesis more efficient.
For further details, see our recent publications.
Our research laboratories are superbly equipped for synthesis and analysis or organic and organometallic substances, including two gloveboxes, Schlenk equipment, argon-vacuum lines and pumps, -100°C coolers, and high-vacuum pumps. For catalysts screening we use parallel carousel reactors and a flow reaction station, as well as a number of autoclaves and microwave reactors. Visualisation and molecular modeling software and data management system are available thought GNU/Linux computer workstations.
The list of equipment that the Group posses, includes:
For some photos from our labs, see a gallery .
We have participated in numerous research projects for leading chemical industry companies, incl. Polpharma Pharmaceuticals, Boehringer Ingelheim, Umicore AG, Degussa AG (now: Evonik Industries AG), Ligand Chemie GmbH, Nalco Inc. USA, Apeiron Synthesis SA, to name only a few.
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We are currently executing a project, entitled «Catalysis for the Twenty-First Century Chemical Industry» The aim of the Team-Tech programs is to improve potential of the R&D sector due to projects pursued by leading scientists having experience in implementing the results of scientific research into economic practice. For more details see the Poster and our Team-Tech Project web page
An international grant "Anionic Carbenes and Borylanions: Tuning the properties of ruthenium metal complexes in olefin metathesis" between our group and Dr. Bartosz Trzaskowski, Prof. Matthias Tamm and Dr. René Frank.
We have participated as a consortium member or consortium leader in numerous projects, incl.
For some old cheminformatics projects, developed by young Karol Grela years ago as a hobby and then abandoned, see:
Made with Bluefish and Last updated Thursday, 31-May-2018 15:12:48 CEST ©1997-2021 Karol Grela (firstname.lastname@example.org)