Catalyst creates new opportunities

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chemical reaction Catalysis

Degussa have discovered a catalyst that improves the efficiency of
reductive carbonylation reactions and will provide greater access
to new active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

For the past 2 years, >Degussa's​ cataCXium A catalyst has been used in CX coupling reactions, but its application in reductive carbonylation was stumbled upon recently when the company began screening for a more effective catalyst for this process.

This is the first time the company has succeeded in using one of its existing catalysts for reductive carbonylation reactions, which are used to yield aromatic aldehydes - valuable synthetic building blocks for APIs and intermediates.

This homogenous catalyst/ligand process allows a single-step reaction, which does not require large amounts of hazardous chemicals or extreme reaction conditions, compared with other known methods.

"Catalysts for reductive carbonylation reactions are already available, however, it is now possible to run these reactions more efficiently, with CataCXium A,"​ Antje Gerber, General Manager, Degussa Homogenous Catalysts, told

In view of its enormous advantages, the catalyst is already being produced in industrial quantities, the company said.

Of the large number of ligands being investigated for homogenous catalysis, only a few are yet available in industrial quantities - a market gap which Degussa aims to close.

The firm established a specialised unit in 2004, called Degussa Homogenous Catalysts (DHC), and have since been working on several new catalyst systems and technologies in the field of homogenous catalysts.

"This is a growing area of need and we have already been receiving many enquiries for new catalyst technologies,"​ said Gerber.

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