Photochemical Alternatives for Pollution PreventionEPA Grant Number: R825330
Title: Photochemical Alternatives for Pollution Prevention
Investigators: Kraus, George , Tanko, James
Institution: Iowa State University , Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: October 1, 1996 through September 30, 1999
Project Amount: $400,000
RFA: Technology for a Sustainable Environment (1996) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development
Description:The development of alternative reactions using reagents which would not harm the environment is the overall goal of this project. The idea of using light (a "reagent" which can be safely used in large excess) to develop a new generation of alternative synthetic pathways has many advantages.
To investigate these advantages this project has four objectives: 1) To extend the photochemically mediated acylation and alkylation reactions. Dr. Kraus will study the reactions with heterocycles such as pyrrole and pyridine. He will also examine radical-based annulation reactions with quinones; 2) To use photochemistry to produce acyl radicals which will decarbonylate to alkyl radicals; and 3) To evaluate supercritical solvents for our photochemically mediated additions of aldehydes to quinones. The pursuit of these objectives will involve collaboration with Dr. James Tanko, a chemistry professor at Virginia Polytechnical Institute with expertise in supercritical solvents; 4) to understand the factors that influence the scale-up of the reaction and then to prepare one of our target molecules. This objective will involve collaboration with chemical engineers at Iowa State and Dr. James Tanko.
Once the syntheses presented herein have been successfully scaled up, these syntheses will actually represent attractive alternatives. If a commercial product such as tert-butylhydroquinone or zomepirac were prepared industrially using our methods, the environmental impact would be significant, not only in terms of not having to transport and use tons of toxic reagents but also in terms of not having to dispose of large amounts of byproducts.