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Birch discount simplified to a one-minute mechanochemical course of

Ball milling jar and reagents used within the simplified mechanochemical Birch discount. Credit: Koji Kubota

The historically cumbersome but widely-used Birch discount can now be carried out in a mere minute in air utilizing an optimized mechanochemical method.

The Birch discount is a response generally used to make medicines and bioactive compounds, however the laborious course of sometimes requires that chemists deal with liquid ammonia, use cryogenic temperatures, and perform time-consuming steps.

Researchers on the Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery (WPI-ICReDD) in Hokkaido University have developed a simplified technique for performing the Birch discount that avoids using ammonia, will be executed at room temperature and in ambient air, and is 20–150 instances quicker than standard strategies. Their findings are printed within the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

A lot of lithium-based strategies for performing the Birch discount in answer have been beforehand developed, however since lithium reacts with each air and water, these processes nonetheless required sophisticated response setups with an inert environment or dehydrated circumstances. Researchers on this examine noticed a chance to keep away from these points by switching from a solution-based technique to a solvent-less technique utilizing a ball mill, by which reactants are shaken quickly in a small metallic jar together with a metallic ball that smashes the strong reactants collectively.

“In previous studies, we found that using a ball mill for reactions of metals such as magnesium and calcium with organic compounds improved the reaction rate and greatly simplified the process,” mentioned co-author Associate Professor Koji Kubota. “Based on this, we wondered if we could develop a more straight-forward Birch reduction process by performing reactions of lithium metal with aromatic compounds in a ball mill.”

Birch reduction simplified to a one-minute mechanochemical process
Overview of the simplified protocol for the Birch discount utilizing a ball mill. Credit: Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2023). DOI: 10.1002/anie.202217723

The key to this technique is that the mechanical impression from the ball breaks via the surface layer on the lithium that reacted with the air, exposing the pure lithium beneath to the opposite reactants and enabling the Birch discount to proceed. This method will be carried out in ambient air and at room temperature, making for a a lot simpler course of.

Researchers demonstrated the flexibility of the method, efficiently testing it with all kinds of organic compounds, together with pharmaceutical intermediates and different bioactive molecules. In most instances, the Birch discount was accomplished in an astonishingly fast one minute.

The course of was efficiently scaled as much as bigger gram-scale batches, and the workforce believes this method may allow the simplified synthesis of all kinds of molecules, whereas additionally marking an necessary advance in mechanochemistry.

“The Birch reduction is used extensively in drug discovery and various chemical industries, and our research has made significant advancements, resulting in a much simpler and more eco-friendly Birch reduction process,” commented Professor Hajime Ito, who led the examine. “We anticipate this breakthrough to speed up drug discovery and numerous different areas of chemical analysis.”

More data:
Yunpeng Gao et al, Mechanochemical Approach for Air‐Tolerant and Extremely Fast Lithium‐Based Birch Reductions in Minutes, Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2023). DOI: 10.1002/anie.202217723

Birch discount simplified to a one-minute mechanochemical course of (2023, April 7)
retrieved 7 April 2023
from https://phys.org/news/2023-04-birch-reduction-one-minute-mechanochemical.html

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