Femtosecond pulsed laser micromachining for engineering, materials, and catalysis research. 01/06/2022 - 31/05/2026

Abstract

Through femtosecond pulsed laser micromachining a wide variety of materials such as ceramics (e.g. glass), hard metals (e.g. Hastelloy), and polymers can be processed with microscale resolution, offering innovation and beyond state-of-the-art research opportunities. To name a few, the planned research infrastructure would allow to tune the catalytic properties of surfaces, to enhance flow distribution, heat transfer and mass transfer in chemical reactors, to increase detection limit of photoelectrochemical sensors, to facilitate flow chemistry, to tailor-make EPR and TEM measurement cells, and to allow machine learning for hybrid additive manufacturing. Currently, the University of Antwerp lacks the necessary research infrastructure capable of processing such materials and surfaces with microscale precision. Access to femtosecond pulsed laser micromachining would yield enormous impact on ongoing and planned research both for the thirteen involved professors and ten research groups as for industry, essential to conduct research at the highest international level.

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  • Research Project

Acquisition of an Agilent 8890/5977B GC-FID-MS instrument. 01/06/2022 - 31/05/2024

Abstract

This application relates to replacement of an old Agilent 7890A/5975C GC-FID-MS instrument. This instrument was installed in 2009 and is currently outdated. As a replacement, we intend to purchase the state of the art Agilent 8890 instrument equipped with an Agilent 5977B single quadrupole MS Detector.

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  • Research Project

Selective sustainable hydrodeoxygenation of bioaromatics (Selective HDO). 01/05/2022 - 30/04/2024

Abstract

The depletion of fossil resources and the requirement to significantly reduce our CO2 footprint made the production of chemicals from non-edible biorenewable feedstocks an intensive contemporary research field. Remarkably, amongst the bioderived chemicals available, bioaromatics are still scarce. A typical feature of biobased platform molecules is their high oxygen content, which is in sharp contrast with current base chemicals obtained via a classical petrochemical approach. While petrochemical industry requires efficient and selective oxidation protocols, biorenewables on the other hand require the reverse, i.e. efficient and selective reduction reactions, necessitating new reaction development. Chemical and (bio)catalytic processes on biorenewable resources (e.g. wood, cloves, gallnuts) deliver a variety of oxygenated arenes (guaiacols, syringols, catechols, pyrogallols). Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) reactions on these biobased arene building blocks can give access to functional chemicals suitable for the chemical industry. Though extensively researched, selective HDO on these oxygenated arenes is still poorly developed. Therefore, the main objective of this proposal is to develop selective HDO in catechols, guaiacols, pyrogallols, and syringols. Our approach involves sustainable activation of Ar-OH and Ar- (OH)2 with a renewable and cheap reactant, and subsequent reduction with a renewable reductant. As catalysts readily available and cheap base metals will be explored rather than scarce and expensive precious transition metals. Both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis will be evaluated.

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  • Research Project

Acrylates from 2nd generation sugars: a powerful combination of fermentation, catalysis, and CO2 recycling (AC2GEN). 01/04/2022 - 31/03/2026

Abstract

AC2GEN focuses on cost-effective production of acrylates from 2G biomass streams with maximum CO2 reduction. Acrylic acid and its alkyl esters are one of the most versatile monomers in the chemical industry with global demand exceeding 6 Mton in 2020 and a market expected to reach 16 Billion Euro by 2022. They are used for the production of various polymers with applications in a wide variety of high-performance products such as coatings, paints, adhesives, resins, detergents, fibers, superabsorbent polymers (SAP) and dispersants. Currently, almost all acrylic acid is produced from petroleum-based propylene through a two-step gas-phase oxidation process that exhibits a very large carbon footprint. In the AC2GEN project we strive for a more sustainable route based on renewable acetic acid and C1 building blocks from CO2.

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  • Research Project

Synthesis and transformation of muconic acid into platform molecules starting from biomass (MUCOFORM). 01/01/2022 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

The sustainable low-carbon chemical industry of the future will require new platform chemicals originating from abundant biorenewable resources which are not in competition with the food chain. Muconic acid (MA) has been proposed as a biobased platform chemical which can be transformed into industrially important commodity chemicals, such as adipic acid, terephthalic acid and caprolactam allowing to make bioplastics. Although MA typically appears in lists of top future biobased chemicals there are many fundamental challenges to be solved in its fermentative production. This project aims to improve the fermentative process to MA from sugars originating from inedible waste (2G) biomass, in particular from abundant waste streams present in Flanders. Both by improvements in the genetically engineered yeast producing MA, as well as by developing suitable product recovery techniques we aim to increase the yield and productivity of the fermentative process. With this crude fermentative MA, new chemical transformations to building blocks with current and emerging applications will be explored, hereby creating new markets for MA. This research involves an iterative feedback loop to achieve a suitable separation of MA from the fermentation stream enabling maximal selectivity and yield in the follow-up chemical transformations, avoiding the need to use purified MA.

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  • Research Project

Alkyl Isocyanate Synthesis from Alkenes 01/11/2021 - 31/10/2023

Abstract

Isocyanates are an important class of molecules due to their versatile reactivity, including nucleophilic addition reactions with alcohols and amines to produce carbamates and ureas, cycloaddition reactions with a variety of unsaturated compounds to generate heterocycles, and polymerization reactions with diols to produce polyurethanes. Isocyanates are therefore widely used as intermediates in pharmaceutical, agrochemical and polymer industries. Many methods for isocyanate synthesis starting from a variety of substrates are known, but they often require toxic or otherwise dangerous reagents or harsh reaction conditions limiting scope. The objective of this proposal is to develop new approaches from alkenes.

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  • Research Project

From CO2 to Enantiopure Carboxylic Acids: Late Stage C-H bond Functionalization Using Earth-Abundant-Metals and Cooperative Photoredox Catalysis 01/08/2021 - 31/07/2026

Abstract

The synthesis of optically pure compounds is becoming increasingly important, as the global market for chiral chemicals is estimated to reach USD 120 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 13.67%. Within the group of these chiral molecules, carboxylic acids and derivatives are especially indispensable for the pharmaceutical industry. This project proposal attempts to establish a synthesis for carboxylic acids and derivatives via functionalization of the stable C(sp3)-H bond by using CO2 as sustainable C1 synthon in the presence of cooperative photoredox catalysis. The mild reaction conditions, in combination with a catalytic system using naturally abundant metals, should make this innovative reactivity concept applicable for the direct C-H functionalization of a range of different C-H bonds in simple molecules, as well as C-H bonds in more 'functionally challenging' compounds such as those found in natural products or complex pharmaceutical agents.

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Synthesis of heterocycles via tandem reactions involving in situ generated ketenimines. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

Modern organic synthesis provides a toolbox of methods to chemoselectively break and form bonds which (at least theoretically) allows to make every single organic molecule. However, the efficiency (overall yield, number of steps, resources, energy and process time) obtained in a multistep synthesis is often (very) low. There is a clear need for 'efficiency improvement' in chemical research & development processes to access novel areas of 'chemical space' through molecular libraries generation targeting specific applications in medicines, agrochemicals, and materials. To achieve that, more sustainable organic synthetic methodology is crucial and a key goal in the proposed research. Tandem reactions, comprising several consecutive reactions without isolating the intermediates are important in this context because they reduce the number of synthetic steps and consequently resources and time. In this project tandem reactions towards high-value heterocycles, involving in situ generated ketenimines will be explored.

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Next generation lignocellulosics biorefinery concepts and implementation (Next-BIOREF). 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

Utilization of biomass as a renewable feedstock to chemicals/materials is expected to become a key driver towards a future sustainable society. Biorefineries, converting non-edible lignocellulose, are central. Unraveling lignocellulose conversion to chemicals/materials is challenging; the chemical/physical phenomena are ill-understood, and formation of lignin-based products underexplored. Next-BIOREF strives to understand fractionation of lignocellulose into lignin oil and pulp, and their transformation into chemicals/materials. Lignin engineering is used to modify native lignin to facilitate such transformation. Cutting edge analytics enable thorough determination of the lignin structures, and novel techniques will be developed. The chemical/physical phenomena are investigated in detail delivering a comprehensive/predictive description of the refinery's outcome. New chemistry from lignin to building blocks for future polymers/composite materials, is proposed.

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Synthesis and Reactions of Disulfones. 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2024

Abstract

Organosulfur compounds are important in many areas of chemistry and material science, and compounds featuring sulfur-sulfur bonds are particularly interesting due to the importance of the disulfide bridges in proteins. However, contrary to disulfides, oxidized derivatives received less attention, and in particular disulfones are rather scarcely studied. Literature methods to efficiently prepare disulfones are limited, and therefore their potential as reactants for organic synthesis is nearly unexplored. The objective of this project is therefore firstly, to develop an unprecended general method (in accordance with the principles of green chemistry) to access disulfones directly from easily available precursors, and secondly, to explore reactivity of these disulfones including both poorly studied as well as new reactions.

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Sustainable Transformations of Biobased Molecules in Water. 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2024

Abstract

Transition from fossil to biorenewable raw materials is one of the priorities of sustainable chemistry, in a quest to help addressing the anthropogenic climate change caused by CO2 emissions and anticipating on the depletion of fossil resources. Sustainable chemistry is much broader and encompasses a number of other factors, such as the use of benign solvents and prevention of waste generation. This project will focus on the development of new reactions in water starting from biorenewable starting materials towards new and drop-in chemicals.

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InSusChem - Consortium for Integrated Sustainable Chemistry Antwerp. 15/10/2020 - 31/12/2026

Abstract

This IOF consortium connects chemists, engineers, economic and environmental oriented researchers in an integrated team to maximize impact in key enabling sustainable chemical technologies, materials and reactors that are able to play a crucial role in a sustainable chemistry and economic transition to a circular, resource efficient and carbon neutral economy (part of the 2030 and 2050 goals in which Europe aims to lead). Innovative materials, renewable chemical feedstocks, new/alternative reactors, technologies and production methods are essential and central elements to achieve this goal. Due to their mutual interplay, a multidisciplinary, concerted effort is crucial to be successful. Furthermore, early on prediction and identification of strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats in life cycles, techno-economics and sustainability are key to allow sustainability by design and create effective knowledge-based decision-making and focus. The consortium focuses on sustainable chemical production through efficient and alternative energy use connected to circularity, new chemical pathways, technologies, reactors and materials, that allow the use of alternative feedstock and energy supply. These core technical aspects are supported by expertise in simulation, techno-economic and environmental impact assessment and uncertainty identification to accelerate technological development via knowledge-based design and early stage identified key research, needed for accelerated growth and maximum impact on sustainability. To achieve these goals, the consortium members are grouped in 4 interconnected valorisation programs focusing on key performance elements that thrive the chemical industry and technology: 1) renewable building blocks; 2) sustainable materials and materials for sustainable processes; 3) sustainable processes, efficiently using alternative renewable energy sources and/or circular chemical building blocks; 4) innovative reactors for sustainable processes. In addition, cross-cutting integrated enablers are present, providing expertise and essential support to the 4 valorisation programs through simulation, techno-economic and environmental impact assessment and uncertainty analysis.

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Progress new assets (one pre-new molecular entity and one first-time-in-human start) for tuberculosis that act synergistically with bedaquiline, cytochrome bc or cytochrome bd inhibitors (RespiriTB). 01/05/2020 - 30/04/2025

Abstract

Despite recent progress in biomedical research, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), is still the world's leading infectious disease killer worldwide. Treatment options are limited, and expensive, recommended medicines are not always available in many countries, and patients experience many adverse effects from the drugs. Thus, there is an acute need for the development of a novel combination regimen with an indication for effective, shorter, and safer treatment of all forms of TB. The overall objective of RESPIRI-TB is to find new drug candidates as potential components of a new, more efficient combination drug regimen against TB that is less prone to resistance and allows shortening of treatment duration for TB, and multidrug-resistant TB. Such a drug combination will synergistically target the energy metabolism of Mtb or complementary targets. To achieve this, we will advance recently discovered inhibitors of the Mtb respiratory pathway. In addition, we will target the Mtb specific molecular mechanism that reduces reactive oxygen species in the cell.

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High-end electron paramagnetic resonance instrumentation for catalysis and materials characterization. 01/05/2020 - 30/04/2024

Abstract

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) offers a unique tool for the characterization of paramagnetic systems found in biological and synthetic materials. It is used in very diverse fields, such as biology, chemistry, physics, medicine and materials sciences. EPR is a global name for many different techniques, of which the pulsed EPR spectroscopies are the most versatile ones, able to reveal very detailed structural information. The University of Antwerp hosts a pulsed and high-field EPR facility that is unique in Belgium. However, the basic continuous-wave EPR instrumentation that underlies this facility needs urgent upgrade. Moreover in recent years, the technical realization of arbitrary waveform generators (AWGs) with clock rates higher than a gigahertz has initiated a new era in EPR spectroscopy. These AWGs allow for novel experiments with shaped pulses through which more detailed information about the systems under study can be obtained. Use of these shaped pulses avails enormously increased sensitivity and spectral width. This is particularly important for the study of nanostructured materials and the detection of transiently formed active sites during catalysis, device operation or biological in-cell reactions, topics of major interest for the consortium. The requested extension of the EPR facility is essential to assure that EPR at UAntwerp remains at the forefront in this rapidly changing field.

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Catalysis for sustainable organic chemistry (CASCH). 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2025

Abstract

Catalysis is a key technology to achieve more efficient and greener organic synthesis. Complementary expertise on the development of new (homogenous and heterogeneous) catalysts (redox, photo and electrocatalysis) will be brought together with organic synthesis know-how in one center. Through collaboration of 5 research teams spanning two different faculties of the University of Antwerp a unique basis for innovative research, tackling challenging transformations in organic chemistry, is created. Cleavage and functionalization of strong bonds (carbon-nitrogen, carbon-oxygen, carbon-hydrogen and carbon-carbon bonds) in (small) organic molecules will be the target of the research activities of the consortium. The substrates will include petrochemical, biorenewable or waste compounds (e.g. CO2). The consortium combines advanced spectroscopy (including UV-vis, (in-situ) IR, multi-frequency EPR and NMR, circularly polarized and conventional Raman), sorption and quantum-chemical and molecular modeling techniques which will allow for fundamental insight in the active site of the catalyst and the reaction mechanism, providing a tool for rational catalyst/reaction development. Through shaping of the novel catalysts (e.g. indirect 3D printing) and evaluation in flow, effects of mass transport and sorption are evaluated revealing their industrial potential.

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iMI-project - support - RespiriTB and RaspiriNTM 01/01/2020 - 30/04/2025

Abstract

Non-tuberculous mycobacteria, such as Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) and Mycobacterium abscessus, cause lung diseases resembling TB, mainly in immune-compromised patients or patients suffering from other lung diseases (e.g. cystic fibrosis). The incidence and prevalence of lung diseases caused by NTM are increasing worldwide. Importantly, in the US and Japan, as well as in other areas of the world where TB has declined, NTM disease is already at least three times more prevalent than TB. Treatment of NTM diseases relies on antibiotic combinations, however the drugs active against NTM are rather few and mainly different than those active against TB. These NTM treatments for the most common species (MAC and M. abscessus) are much less active than the current anti-TB regimen is for TB treatment. It is often necessary to administer antibiotic combinations for at least 12-24 months. The long and complex drug regimen that is currently recommended as a treatment against NTM-caused diseases carries the risk of inducing resistance in NTM. Several studies have already shown the existence and emergence of multidrug resistant NTM. The overall objective of RESPIRI-NTM is to find new drug candidates as potential components of a new, more efficient combination drug regimen against NTM that is less prone to resistance and allows shortening of treatment duration for NTM and multidrug-resistant NTM. Such a drug combination will synergistically target the energy metabolism of NTM or complementary targets. To achieve this, we will advance recently discovered inhibitors of the mycobacterial respiratory pathway. In addition, we will perform a novel, phenotypic screen in order to identify novel targets in NTM. Finally, we will also target host-factors that are essential for the intracellular survival of NTM. Together, we present a comprehensive plan to find novel strategies to combat non-tuberculous mycobacteria, shorten treatment time and reduce chances of drug resistance.

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  • Research Project

Synthesis of bicyclic amine scaffolds via tandem catalysis. 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

Modern organic synthesis provides a toolbox of synthetic methods which (at least theoretically) allows to make every single organic molecule. However, the efficiency (overall yield, number of steps, resources and time required) obtained in a multistep synthesis is often (very) low. Considering the strive for greener organic syntheses and the need to access novel areas of 'chemical space', through molecular libraries targeting specific applications, 'efficiency improvement' is a key goal. In this context direct(ed) transition metal-catalyzed C-H bond functionalization is an important contemporary research field obviating the need to preinstall leaving groups in organic molecules. Indirect synthesis is still the standard procedure in organic synthesis. Another important field in the context of green synthesis is tandem catalysis, allowing to perform several transformations in one single step by orthogonal catalysts, where a first catalyst provides the substrate for the next catalytic cycle. This saves synthetic steps and time. In this project we want to combine both areas and develop tandem catalysis involving directed C-H functionalization.

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Development of C-H functionalization methodology on non-aromatic and aromatic azaheterocycles. 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

Development of efficient and versatile synthetic approaches to construct carbon-carbon and carbon-nitrogen bonds via direct C (sp2)-H functionalization of the imine or aldonitrone moiety in azaheterocyclic compounds are of importance with respect to the development of more sustainable organic syntheses in a PASE way (= Pot, Atom, Step Economical). C(sp2)-H functionalizations of the nucleophilic substitution of hydrogen (SNH) type are inherently very attractive versus other synthetic methods considering they do not require transition metal catalysis, though still rather limitedly explored and developed in azaheterocyclic substrates. This gives access to novel substituted scaffolds with a variety of potential applications. SNH reactions are two-step processes: the addition of the nucleophilic reactants to pi-deficient azaheterocyclic substrate (formation sigma Н-adduct intermediates) followed by reformation of the imine moiety via either an elimination [«Addition - Elimination»] (built-in oxidant) or an oxidation reaction [«Addition - Oxidation»]. The sigma Н-adducts will also be transformed in other manners, allowing to achieve di rather than mono functionalization. Development of efficient SNH protocols will require an understanding of the factors which promote sigma Н-adduct formation and the search for sustainable oxidants to transform them. Insight will be obtained through mechanistic studies involving both experimental techniques and computational chemistry (DFT).

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Direct(ed) C-H and C-N bond functionalization via a new convertible and recyclable diazole-based directing group. 01/11/2019 - 31/10/2023

Abstract

Modern organic synthesis provides a toolbox of methodologies which (at least theoretically) allows to make every single organic molecule. However, the efficiency (overall yield, number of steps, resources and time required) obtained in its multistep synthesis is often (very) low. Considering the strive for more sustainable organic synthesis and the need to access novel molecular libraries targeting specific applications (e.g. drug development), 'efficiency improvement' is a very important though very challenging goal. Direct(ed) transition metal-catalyzed strong bond functionalization (i.e. C-H and C-N) is an important contemporary research field obviating the need to preinstall leaving groups in organic molecules (indirect synthesis), which is still the standard procedure in organic synthesis. In this project a new convertible and recyclable directing group based on a diazole unit for C-H and C-N bond functionalization will be explored.

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  • Research Project

Progress novel assets (one FIH start) for nontubercular mycobacteria that may act synergistically with bedaquiline and cytochrome bc drugs (RespiriNTM). 01/05/2019 - 30/04/2025

Abstract

Non-tuberculous mycobacteria, such as Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) and Mycobacterium abscessus, cause lung diseases resembling TB, mainly in immune-compromised patients or patients suffering from other lung diseases (e.g. cystic fibrosis). The incidence and prevalence of lung diseases caused by NTM are increasing worldwide. Importantly, in the US and Japan, as well as in other areas of the world where TB has declined, NTM disease is already at least three times more prevalent than TB. Treatment of NTM diseases relies on antibiotic combinations, however the drugs active against NTM are rather few and mainly different than those active against TB. These NTM treatments for the most common species (MAC and M. abscessus) are much less active than the current anti-TB regimen is for TB treatment. It is often necessary to administer antibiotic combinations for at least 12-24 months. The long and complex drug regimen that is currently recommended as a treatment against NTM-caused diseases carries the risk of inducing resistance in NTM. Several studies have already shown the existence and emergence of multidrug resistant NTM. The overall objective of RESPIRI-NTM is to find new drug candidates as potential components of a new, more efficient combination drug regimen against NTM that is less prone to resistance and allows shortening of treatment duration for NTM and multidrug-resistant NTM. Such a drug combination will synergistically target the energy metabolism of NTM or complementary targets. To achieve this, we will advance recently discovered inhibitors of the mycobacterial respiratory pathway. In addition, we will perform a novel, phenotypic screen in order to identify novel targets in NTM. Finally, we will also target host-factors that are essential for the intracellular survival of NTM. Together, we present a comprehensive plan to find novel strategies to combat non-tuberculous mycobacteria, shorten treatment time and reduce chances of drug resistance.

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  • Research Project

Paramagnetic species in catalysis research. A unified approach towards heterogeneous, homogeneous and enzyme catalysis (PARACAT). 01/01/2019 - 30/06/2023

Abstract

PARACAT aims at educating a group of young researchers to implement methods for cutting edge research in the field of catalysis, comprehensively exploring for the first time the role of open-shell species, an innovative area at the intersections between chemistry, physics and biology. The programme puts strong emphasis on ethics and social reflections by combining the scientific expertise of (bio)chemists, (bio)physicists and industrial partners with the input of an ethicist to form a new generation of scientists capable to take up appropriate societal responsibilities as experts in their field. PARACAT is set up by a consortium formed by 5 academic beneficiaries flanked by 1 research institute, 3 industrial organizations and 2 academic institutions as partners, collaborating in the research and training activities to offer 10 early-stage-researchers the possibility of being awarded with double doctoral degrees in two different European countries. The overall PARACAT programme will address the role of paramagnetism in catalysis with a focus on a knowledge-based bottom-up approach, integrating homogeneous, heterogeneous and bio-catalysis with the objective of 1) designing new catalysts based on earth abundant and safe elements; 2) discovery of new and more sustainable reaction pathways for the activation of small molecules and selective oxidations by learning from nature; 3) enabling new routes for polymerization and de-polymerization reactions. The training programme overcomes barriers between traditional disciplines providing top level tuition on topics spanning from advanced spectroscopic methods, synthesis and property characterization, to quantum chemical modelling, and on a full set of complementary skills .The goal is therefore to build a chain of knowledge whereby fundamental understanding is translated into practical applications by the synergistic interaction between academic and industrial partners, in an ethical and social dimension.

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Sustainable reduction reactions in water via in situ hydrogen gas production. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

Molecular hydrogen (H2) is an indispensable reactant in modern chemistry, used in many industrial processes for both commodity and fine chemicals synthesis. Unfortunately, the most widely spread production method of hydrogen (reforming of methane) is unsustainable due to the generation of carbon dioxide and moreover on a longer term not guaranteed because of the depletion of fossil feedstocks. Fortunately, many alternative solutions for (large scale) sustainable hydrogen production are technically far advanced, such as electrolysis. However, due to the issues related to the safe handling and storage of hydrogen, its use immediately after production (in situ generation and consumption) is the ideal approach for reactions using hydrogen as a reductant in the chemical industry. This ideally requires production and consumption of hydrogen in the same reaction vessel based on donor molecules which do not produce organic by-products. Thermochemical in situ water splitting combined with subsequent reduction reactions consuming hydrogen is a very attractive approach due to the practically unlimited availability of water and its very benign profile as a solvent (low cost, no environmental impact, non-toxic, non-flammable). However current (catalytic) methods for thermochemical water splitting are performed in gas phase and require very high temperatures (above 600 °C) and therefore are both extremely energy-demanding and incompatible with most organic molecules (these are not stable at these temperatures). The major objective of this project is therefore to develop thermochemical water splitting combined with immediate consumption of the generated hydrogen in a subsequent reduction (hydrogenation/hydrogenolysis) reaction at lower temperatures (200-300 °C) in liquid high temperature and pressure water (HTPW). At these temperatures, the properties of water remarkably change, providing much better solubility of organic substrates – often an issue for application of water in organic synthesis. Development of new synthetic methods for sustainable reduction reactions (nitro group reduction, hydrodeamination, hydrodehydroxylation) of both petrochemical and renewable feedstocks in HTPW are scheduled in which hydrogen gas will be generated in situ and consumed in the same reaction vessel. Several thermochemical systems for hydrogen gas generation will be evaluated, making use of both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts to bring down the required temperatures. The combined hydrogen production/reduction process will be optimized by variation of numerous parameters (temperature, pressure, concentration, catalysts and their loading, catalytic additives for the H2 generation). Due to the multiple (not independent) parameters which need to be varied, a "Design of Experiments (DoE)" approach will be used rather than the "vary one parameter at a time". Furthermore, design and optimization of all above-mentioned synthesis routes require a detailed insight into the reaction mechanisms on a molecular level. Therefore the mechanism of both the non-metal catalyzed reduction reactions and metal catalyzed hydrogen gas production will be studied with various experimental (spectroscopic) and computational techniques. In addition, for reactions relying on heterogeneous catalysis, thorough characterization of the catalyst's structural features by various techniques (e.g. XRD, UV-DR, Raman spectroscopy) will be undertaken.

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New redox mediators and improved electrocatalytic materials for the functionalization of carbon-hydrogen bonds by electrosynthesis. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

Functionalization of inert carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds is an important reaction in the chemical industry. The introduction of functional groups (e.g. oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, … atom) in otherwise inert molecules is necessary to construct more complex molecules for the bulk and fine chemicals industry. However, an organic molecule contains multiple C-H bonds (the most common bond in organic molecules) and the selective functionalization of a specific C-H bond with chemical reactants is therefore very difficult to achieve. New chemoselective C-H functionalization methods for late stage functionalization with the production of low amounts of (harmful) waste are therefore important to make organic synthesis more efficient and sustainable. Electrosynthesis is a promising alternative, although currently suffering from low chemoselectivity. By adding a homogeneous catalyst (redox mediator) this lingering problem can be overcome, but an electrochemically activation step of the redox mediator is required. In the current state-of-the-art this is performed with inert electrode materials (e.g. glassy carbon), resulting in low yield and energy intensive processes with excessive required amounts of redox mediator. Hence, there is a strong need for improved electrocatalytic materials in combination with more active redox mediators. In general this research projects aims to develop new electrocatalytic materials for the charge transfer to redox mediators for C-H bond cleavage in organic substrates. To achieve this goal we will use a step-wise electrocatalytic approach to obtain an optimal catalytic performance for the charge transfer to redox mediators. In a first step, bulk electrode materials will undergo a preliminary screening to identify possible materials that possess high electrocatalytic activities. In a second step, the activity of the electrode surface is further improved by (i) moving towards nanoparticles dispersed on a support and (ii) by introducing an alloy with a second or third metal. The redox mediator represents one of the key-elements in successfully implementing C-H bond functionalization. Therefore, we will examine redox mediators in combination with the electrocatalysts. As a case-study the electrochemical C-H oxygenation making use of quinuclidine mediator will be selected as model reaction. The above mentioned research questions will require an intertwined approach combining electrocatalysis (expertise of the ART research group) with state of the art organic synthesis (expertise of the ORSY research group).

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Durable chemical processes for the synthesis of fine chemicals. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

This is a fundamental research project financed by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). The project was subsidized after selection by the FWO-expert panel. The objective of the FWO's Research projects is to advance fundamental scientific research.

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Support maintenance scientific equipment (Organic synthesis). 01/01/2005 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

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Selective sustainable hydrodeoxygenation of bioaromatics (SelectHDO). 01/05/2021 - 30/04/2022

Abstract

The depletion of fossil resources and the requirement to significantly reduce our CO2 footprint made the production of chemicals from non-edible biorenewable feedstocks an intensive contemporary research field. Amongst the bioderived chemicals available, bioaromatics are still scarce. A typical feature of biobased platform molecules is their high oxygen content, which is in sharp contrast with current base chemicals obtained via a classical petrochemical approach. While petrochemical industry requires efficient and selective oxidation protocols, biorenewables on the other hand require the reverse, i.e. efficient and selective reduction reactions, necessitating new reaction development. The main objective of this proposal is to develop selective reduction reactions in catechols, guaiacols, pyrogallols, and syringols. Our approach involves sustainable activation of Ar-OH and Ar-(OH)2 with a renewable and cheap reactant, and subsequent reduction with a renewable reductant. As catalysts readily available and cheap base metals will be explored rather than scarce and expensive precious transition metals. Both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis will be evaluated.

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Polymer additives from lignin building blocks (PADDL). 01/01/2020 - 30/11/2021

Abstract

To improve the characteristics of plastics, additives (such as plasticizers, antioxidants, UV stabilizers and flame retardants) are often added. The PADDL project seeks to design new biobased additives for plastics and help realise the shift away from non-renewable resources.

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Sustainable reductions in water of biorenewable chemicals via in situ hydrogen gas production. 01/11/2019 - 31/10/2020

Abstract

Hydrogen gas is expected to become the fuel of the future, given the fact that only water is formed when reacting it with oxygen. A major downside is its high flammability, making safe storage and transport not self-evident. Reductions with hydrogen (hydrogenolysis and hydrogenation) are an important class of reactions in the chemical industry. These reactions often require a high pressure (excess hydrogen) and temperature, causing considerable safety risks. Reduction reactions which can produce small quantities of hydrogen gas in situ and immediately consume it will therefore be developed in the framework of this research proposal.

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  • Research Project

Synthesis of α-secondary alkylamines via reductive functionalization of amides. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

In this project a new way to synthesize alpha secondary alkylamnes from carboxylic acids (via amides as intermediates) will be developed. The procedure is based on stable and cheap hydrogen donors and organometallics.

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  • Research Project

Francqui Research Professor "Catalysis for sustainable organic chemistry (CASCH)". 01/09/2019 - 31/08/2022

Abstract

Catalysis is a key technology to achieve more efficient and greener organic synthesis. Complementary expertise on the development of new (homogenous and heterogeneous) catalysts (redox, photo and electrocatalysis) will be brought together with organic synthesis know-how in one expert center.

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  • Research Project

Start of Ph.D. professor Shoubhik Das. 01/07/2019 - 28/02/2020

Abstract

Start up research Prof. Shoubhik Das.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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  • Research Project

Direct remote C-H functionalization in piperidine derivatives (DiPipe). 01/04/2019 - 31/03/2021

Abstract

The transition metal-catalyzed direct functionalization of C-H bonds is a major research topic across the world. However selective (regio-, enantio-, diastereoselective) and efficient functionalization of C(sp3)-H bonds, remains a significant challenge: C(sp3)-H bonds are omnipresent in organic molecules and their dissociation energies are large. The use of directing groups (DGs) "guiding" the metal to specific C-H bonds and allowing intramolecular CH bond activation, is a recognized general approach to address the selectivity challenge. However, their installation and removal add steps to the overall reaction sequence. This proposal aims to develop unprecedented regio- and diastereoselective transition metal-catalyzed functionalization of piperidine derivatives with haloalkenes making use of transient DGs, installed and removed in situ during catalysis.

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  • Research Project

Nickel-catalyzed imidoylative cross-coupling reactions. 01/09/2018 - 28/02/2019

Abstract

During the research stay at UAntwerpen, nickel-catalyzed imidolyative cross-coupling reactions starting from readily available alkane- and arenecarboximidamides (amidine) substrates will be developed. This will deliver new synthetic methods to prepare important functionalized heterocycles, e.g. 5-aminopyrimido[4,5-d]pyrimidine-2,4(1H,3H)-diones, 4-imino-4H-imidazol-5-amines and 1,3,5- triazin-2-amines. Besides base metal catalysis, the use of synthetic strategies such as C-H functionalization and multicomponent reactions allow to obtain efficient synthetic methods in accordance with the principles of green chemistry.

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  • Research Project

Unique lignin-based functional oligomers: a challenging route towards a sustainable biobased economy. 01/05/2018 - 30/04/2019

Abstract

In this PhD lignin-based oligomers, specifically dimeric compounds, will be studied. Due to the complexity and heterogeneity of lignin mixtures, it is very difficult to separate and obtain lignin compounds with a desirable functionalization. Therefore, the main focus of this PhD will be on structure elucidation and potential chemical modifications of dimers to facilitate their suitability in diverse application fields.

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  • Research Project

Bio based factory: Sustainable chemistry from wood (BioFact). 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

Fossil oil depletion imposes a societal driven shift to non-edible biomass as a renewable feedstock for chemicals. Wood is among the most abundant carbon sources on earth, and is ideal to address this challenge. Wood contains (hemi)cellulose (carbohydrates) and lignin, a polymeric network of arenes. Biorefineries mostly focus on the former, using lignin only as low value fuel. This project's ambitious aim is to transform lignin into high-value chemicals and polymers, starting with the very challenging selective depolymerization of lignin. In KULeuven's 'lignin-first' concept, even before carbohydrate valorization, wood is treated in a selective way to recover just 4 biobased aromatic molecules in high yield. Next, selective catalytic (de)functionalization of the 4 molecules will lead to catechol and pyrogallol. Innovative synthetic methods (aminations, reductions, C(sp2)-O cross-coupling and C(sp2/sp3)-H functionalization) will transform these into important chemicals (substituted phenols, anilines etc). Finally, biobased chemicals are coupled with CO2 to form valuable functional polymers. Modelling, e.g. via Advanced Molecular Dynamics will allow to rationalize and even predict reactivity and selectivity in realistic operating conditions, lending strong support to the development of new concepts for transformation of aromatics.

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  • Research Project

Synthesis of a-secondary alkylamines via reductive functionalization of amides. 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

In this project a new way to synthesize alpha secondary alkylamnes from carboxylic acids (via amides as intermediates) will be developed. The procedure is based on stable and cheap hydrogen donors and organometallics.

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  • Research Project

Geminal directing groups in C-H functionalisation (GeMDiG). 01/05/2017 - 30/04/2018

Abstract

Oxidations are an important class of reactions of industrial interest. These are often performed using reagents which produce considerable amounts of (toxic) waste. The development of oxidation procedures using molecular oxygen, the most abundant, cheap, and sustainable oxidant available on earth, has recently been the focus of chemical research across the world. These procedures are very challenging, and often require additives in stoichiometric amounts, thus compromising the greenness of the process. This proposal describes new oxidations making use of removable and recyclable germinal directing groups.

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  • Research Project

Development and use of "smart" and sustainable phosgene analogues. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

The core idea of this project is the cleavage of ureas via reaction with oxygen and nitrogen nucleophiles. The main scientific challenge is to make this thermodynamically unfavorable transformation possible under mild reaction conditions through the application of so called Directing Groups (DG) and transition metal catalysis with a cheap, abundant and non-toxic base metal. The project will make an impact on sustainable chemistry.

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  • Research Project

Direct C(sp3)-H activation: Transition metal-catalyzed functionalization of saturated cyclic amines. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2018

Abstract

This research project aims to develop direct transition metalcatalyzed alkylations of C(sp3)–H bonds in saturated nitrogen-based heterocycles, with a particular focus on compatibility with a very broad range of functional groups, regioselectivity and stereoselectivity. Towards this goal, insertion reactions with substituted alkenes featuring a variety of functional groups will be explored. The development of such a technology offers an important contribution to novel, improved and more sustainable synthetic pathways of utmost importance for fine chemicals production in the 21st century and is moreover expected to be highly warranted for drug discovery purposes (diverse library synthesis).

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  • Research Project

BIO-HArT (Biorizon Innovative and Scale up of Renewable Aromatics Technology) 07/03/2016 - 06/03/2019

Abstract

BIO-HArT (Biorizon Innovative and Scale up of Renewable Aromatics Technology) has as reveals from the title the goal to scale up innovative technologies for the production of renewable chemicals. Renewable since these are produced from biomass.

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  • Research Project

Catalytic alkynylation and alkenylation of functionalized imines and further transformation of the obtained propargylic and allylic amines 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

Propargylic and allylic amines are important building blocks for the total synthesis of complex natural products, pharmaceuticals, and plant pesticides. In addition to their synthetic utility, some propargylic amine derivatives display interesting biological properties. The most direct access to these important synthetic blocks relies on the alkynylation of imines. Classical methodologies for the preparation of propargylic and allylic amines have usually exploited the relatively high acidity of a terminal acetylenic C-H bond to form metal acetylide reagents by reaction with strong bases. The so-formed organometallic compounds were then able to undergo nucleophilic addition to imines to form the desired products. Clearly, the strongly basic reagents employed in such reactions are incompatible with sensitive substrates, and therefore alkyne deprotonation often had to be carried out in a separate reaction step. In particular, highly functionalized imines, bearing one, two or even three halogen atoms in different positions have not been investigated at all in this respect. Recently, we investigated the catalytic conversion of α,α-dichloro aldimines to propargylic amines. None of the "classical" transition metal catalyzed alkynylations lead to the propargylic amines. Therefore, we developed a new methodology for the efficient alkynylation of α,α-dichloro aldimines with alkynes in the presence of a catalytic amount of indium(III) triflate giving rise to beta,beta-dichloropropargylic amines in good yields. The present proposal will, in the first place, make use of our newly developed indium(III) catalyzed alkynylation to further broaden the scope of this reaction to other polyhalogenated, α-monohalo- and beta-monohalo imines. Attempts will be made to develop alternative catalytic methods which make use of other, cheaper metals such as copper and iron to promote this conversion. The presence of the halogen atoms in the envisaged propargylic amines offers a unique opportunity to further elaborate these molecules and to subject them to an in depth reactivity study. So far, the combination of an electrophilic alkyne, a nucleophilic amine and a electrophilic dichloromethylene group has never been synthetically exploited. Since the 1,2-addition of an acetylide anion to the imine also generates a stereogenic C-atom, the influence of the addition of chiral ligands to the catalytic system will be investigated.

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  • Research Project

Development of new synthetic methods for the preparation of amidines and guanidines. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

In the framework of this project, we want to develop new synthetic methods for (hetero)arenecarboximidamides and guanidines. More specifically transition metal catalyzed strategies involving the use of isonitriles, (hetero)arenes/chloro(hetero)arylzincs and amines/chloroamines for the (hetero)arenecarboximidamide construction, and isonitriles and amines/chloroamines for the guanidine build up will be explored.

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  • Research Project

"Smart" phosgene analogues: Synthesis and use. 01/09/2015 - 31/08/2017

Abstract

This project aims the development of "smart" phosgene analogues from CO2. These substituted ureas are safe analogues of phosgene which can be transformed into useful chemicals and materials under mild reaction conditions.

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  • Research Project

Biorefinery of entire plant biomass to aromatics (ARBOREF). 01/04/2015 - 31/03/2019

Abstract

The overall ambition of the project is to integrate the production of aromatics, with focus on both new and drop-in molecules of industrial interest, within a novel 'lignin-first' biorefinery technology developed at KU Leuven, which is capable of converting entire lignocellulosic biomass feedstock into a soluble phenolic fraction and a solid carbohydrate pulp fraction. Hereto, the project suggests fermentative and chemical synthesis pathways to convert both fractions to the aromatic chemicals in an atomic efficient manner.

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  • Research Project

Sustainable Synthesis of Amides (SUSAMIDE). 01/04/2015 - 31/03/2017

Abstract

Despite the ubiquity of the amide group, its synthesis is not always straightforward and the existing methods for amide formation score badly from the perspectives of economy and sustainability. This proposal aims to develop unprecedented methodology for amide synthesis, allowing one to access "challenging" representatives. Two routes are proposed to mitigate risk and to provide complementarity. The objective of the proposal is twofold: 1) to expand the available chemical space (allowing one to synthesize challenging amides previously considered inaccessible via library synthesis with existing methods) and 2) to substitute existing syntheses with better ones (delivering higher yields without using toxic reagents and minimizing waste). Achieving these two objectives will have an impact on the discovery of new molecular entities and the improvement of production processes in the fine chemicals sector. The power of the new methodology will be demonstrated on the synthesis of selected real-life examples, APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients).

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SusChemA. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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  • Research Project

AGRECHEM: Antwerp Green Chemistry. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university. The AGRECHEM consortium is an excellence centre of the University of Antwerp, focusing on green and sustainable chemistry. One of the biggest future challenges is the production of fine chemicals in a sustainable way. The quest for synthetic routes that are at the same time eco-friendly and economically feasible requires a concerted input of scientists with a variety of specializations. The progress in synthesis goes hand in hand with progress in materials characterization. Therefore, the consortium brings together two main research groups on synthetic chemistry and three research units specialized in material characterization techniques with emphasis on gaining mechanistic insight in chemical reactions. The consortium aims at consolidating and increasing the existing excellence in sustainable chemistry at the University of Antwerp.

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Transition metal-catalyzed amide cleavage. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

In this project, we aim to develop new, mild, chemoselective and sustainable methods to cleave amides, to study their reaction mechanism and to investigate the application of the methodology in peptide and medicinal chemistry.

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  • Research Project

Direct C(sp3)-H functionalization: Transition metalcatalyzed alkylation of saturated cyclic amines. 01/10/2014 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

This research project aims to develop direct transition metalcatalyzed alkylations of C(sp3)–H bonds in saturated nitrogen-based heterocycles, with a particular focus on compatibility with a very broad range of functional groups, regioselectivity and stereoselectivity. Towards this goal, insertion reactions with substituted alkenes featuring a variety of functional groups will be explored. The development of such a technology offers an important contribution to novel, improved and more sustainable synthetic pathways of utmost importance for fine chemicals production in the 21st century and is moreover expected to be highly warranted for drug discovery purposes (diverse library synthesis).

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  • Research Project

Partial placement of the NMR infrastructure for the structural elucidation of synthetic and natural substances. 19/05/2014 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Hercules Foundation. UA provides the Hercules Foundation research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

AMBER - Alternative Materials for Biobased Resins. 01/03/2014 - 29/02/2016

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand FISCH. UA provides FISCH research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Synthesis, decoration and biological evaluation of novel fused 7-deazapurine skeletons. 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

Purine analogs, including the 7-deazapurines (pyrrolo[2,3-d]pyrimidinen) are, due to their structural analogy with ATP, interesting substrates to achieve inhibition of ATP-binding proteins. In the framework of this project new annulated 7-deazapurine targets will be synthesized. The synthesis of these annulated 7-deazapurine target molecules is based on four transition metal catalyzed direct C-H activations.

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  • Research Project

Development of new synthetic methods for the preparation of amidines and guanidines. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

In the framework of this project, we want to develop new synthetic methods for (hetero)arenecarboximidamides and guanidines. More specifically transition metal catalyzed strategies involving the use of isonitriles, (hetero)arenes/chloro(hetero)arylzincs and amines/chloroamines for the (hetero)arenecarboximidamide construction, and isonitriles and amines/chloroamines for the guanidine build up will be explored.

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  • Research Project

Direct C(sp3)-H functionalization: Transition metalcatalyzed alkylation of saturated cyclic amines. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This research project aims to develop direct transition metalcatalyzed alkylations of C(sp3)–H bonds in saturated nitrogen-based heterocycles, with a particular focus on compatibility with a very broad range of functional groups, regioselectivity and stereoselectivity. Towards this goal, insertion reactions with substituted alkenes featuring a variety of functional groups will be explored. The development of such a technology offers an important contribution to novel, improved and more sustainable synthetic pathways of utmost importance for fine chemicals production in the 21st century and is moreover expected to be highly warranted for drug discovery purposes (diverse library synthesis).

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  • Research Project

Direct alkylation of saturated cyclic amines via catalytic C-H functionalization (DASCA). 01/03/2013 - 28/02/2015

Abstract

The project aims to develop truly practical and scalable synthetic methods with a broad functional group compatibility for the direct catalytic α-functionalization of C(sp3)-H species next to nitrogen. Such methodology will have a tremendous ompact on the way synthetic chemists approach the construction and derivatization of complex molecules comprising saturated cyclic amines. Additionally, the wide diversity of such a type heterocycles provides a broad scope of substrates for combinatorial synthesis.

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Peptide diversification: Pd-catalyzed derivatization of lead compounds in aqueous medium. 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Development of new sustainable Cu- and Fe-catalyzed oxidation reactions. 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

In the framework of this research project new aerobic Cu- and Fe-catalyzed oxidation reactions will be developed which allow transformation of aryl(heteroaryl)- and bis(heteroaryl)methanes/alkanes into the corresponding ketones and alcohols. The oxidation methods aim at a high atom efficiency, a low E-factor and are based on cheap base metals.

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  • Research Project

Chemical Manufacturing Methods for the 21st Century Pharmaceuticals Industries (CHEM21). 01/10/2012 - 30/06/2017

Abstract

CHEM21 is a project that will develop a broad based portfolio of sustainable technologies for green chemical intermediate manufacture aimed at the pharmaceutical industry. Initially working with the EFPIA members the collaborators of CHEM21 will analyse a number of projects that are in development to decide which the priorities are for technology development.

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Development of new synthetic methods for the preparation of amidines and guanidines. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

In the framework of this project, we want to develop new synthetic methods for (hetero)arenecarboximidamides and guanidines. More specifically transition metal catalyzed strategies involving the use of isonitriles, (hetero)arenes/chloro(hetero)arylzincs and amines/chloroamines for the (hetero)arenecarboximidamide construction, and isonitriles and amines/chloroamines for the guanidine build up will be explored.

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  • Research Project

How to realize new value chains in the Flemish chemical industry : Towards a Market & Technology Roadmap 'Renewable Chemicals'. 01/10/2012 - 31/05/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand FISCH. UA provides FISCH research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

Separation, recovery and re-use of organotin derivatives. 05/01/2012 - 04/01/2013

Abstract

Organotin derivatives form a very important class of reagents in the organic synthetic chemistry. Due to the toxicity of the currently used organotin reagents, the difficult purification of the reaction products and the problem to recover and re-use the formed tin waste in a simple manner the industrial applications are hitherto limited. This project describes a simple though sustainable solution for the triple problem.

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Transition metal catalyzed transformation of amides. 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

In the framework of this project synthetic methodology for the transformation of stable amides into other functional groups will be studied. The new methodology is based on the use of transition metal catalysis and a directing group. To obtain amides with a directing group on the nitrogen atom new amide syntheses or derivatizations need to be developed.

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  • Research Project

New azole fused purines: synthesis, derivatization and biological evaluation. 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This project represents a research agreement between the UA and on the onther hand IWT. UA provides IWT research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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  • Research Project

FunMem4Affinity: Exploration of functional ceramic membranes for affinity organic solvent nanofiltration. 01/01/2012 - 30/04/2015

Abstract

The main objective of the project FunMem4Affinity is the exploration and understanding of the potential of affinity separation with functionalized ceramic membranes in nanofiltration in organic solvents.

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Azaheteroaromatic Scaffold Design via Transition Metal-Catalyzed C-H Bond Activation and Their Application in Medicinal Chemistry (FWO Vis. Fel., Pradip DEBNATH, India). 01/12/2011 - 30/11/2012

Abstract

This is a fundamental research project financed by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO). The project was subsidized after selection by the FWO-expert panel.

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Transition metal catalyzed transformation of amides. 01/10/2011 - 11/10/2013

Abstract

In this project new synthetic methodology will be developed for the transition metal catalyzed transformation of amides into other functional groups; amines. In the research attention will be given to the unravelling of the reaction mechanism of the new synthetic processes.

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  • Research Project

Synthesis of benzodiazines based on C-N bond formation via transition metal-catalyzed C(sp2)-H activation. 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

The project aims the development of new synthetic methods for the synthesis of benzodiazines. The intention is to form the C-N bond using transition metal catalyzed C-H activation. By using C-H activation there is no need for pre-activation, which shortens the number of reaction steps and creates less waste.

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BOF: 1 year doctoral fellowship. 01/01/2011 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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  • Research Project

Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel pyridazin-3(2H)-one derivatives. 28/08/2010 - 27/06/2011

Abstract

Halogen-metal exchange and direct metalation followed by reactions with electrophiles, in order to functionalize the biologically relevant pyridazin-3(2H)-one core will be studied.

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  • Research Project

Ion mobility high resolution mass spectrometer: a strong tool for fragile structures. 22/07/2010 - 21/07/2015

Abstract

This project has two general objectives: (1) Increase the research potential of the UA by introduction of new state of the art techniques for the analysis of fragile molecular structures by using the novel ion mobility capabilities that have recently been integrated with high-mass high-resolution Q-TOF mass spetrometry ("Synapt", waters). (2) Maintain the current capacity to obtain Q-TOF data by replacing an existing system.

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    • Research Project

    Establishing a high tech purification platform for the purification of natural or synthetic active compounds. 22/07/2010 - 31/12/2014

    Abstract

    This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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    • Research Project

    Integrated organic-inorganic synthetic approaches for the development of functionalized periodic mesoporous organosilicas. 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2013

    Abstract

    Innovative synthetic approaches for the formation of strongly functionalized crystalline 'Periodic Mesoporous Organosilicas' (PMO's) will be developed. Knowledge and reactions from organic chemistry will be implemented in the known synthesis processes for the production of porous hybrid organic-inorganic materials. Therefore, 2 synthesis paths will be established. 1) On one hand, new organosilica precursors with embedded heteroatoms (N, S, O, P, Cl, ¿) will be synthesized, that can be applied in the synthesis of the innovative PMO's. 2) Another synthesis path aims at executing organic reactions, known in homogeneous reaction media, inside the formed crystalline aromatic-bridged PMO in order to modify the aromatic functions of the PMO. Emphasis will be put on the fundamental aspects such as the influence of the present heteroatoms on the synthesis mechanism of the PMO's.

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    • Research Project

    Azaheteroaromatic Scaffold Design via Transition Metal-Catalyzed C-H Bond Activation and Their Application in Medicinal Chemistry. 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2013

    Abstract

    This is a fundamental research project financed by the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO). The project was subsidized after selection by the FWO-expert panel.

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    • Research Project

    Synthesis of bicyclic azaheteroaromatics based on C-N bond formation via transition metal-catalyzed C(sp2)-H activation. 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2010

    Abstract

    The project aims the development of new synthetic methods for the synthesis of azaheteroaromatics. The intention is to form the C-N bond using transition metal catalyzed C-H activation. By using C-H activation there is no need for pre-activation, which shortens the number of reaction steps and creates less waste.

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    • Research Project

    Synthesis and biological evaluation of (+)-epiquinamide and analogues. 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2013

    Abstract

    This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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    • Research Project

    Microwave-assisted chemical valorisation of biomass and bio-raw materials. 01/09/2009 - 31/08/2013

    Abstract

    First, the microwave-assisted synthesis (with or without heterogeneous catalyst) of renewable chemicals starting from plant oil and animal fat (triglycerides) or derivatives of triglycerides (free fatty acids) will be studied. Secondly, the design and the construction of a continuous microwave reactor will take place.

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    • Research Project

    Development of methods for the efficient synthesis of functionalisation of heterocyclic "scaffolds". 01/08/2009 - 31/07/2019

    Abstract

    The research plan is situated in the area of organometallic and heterocyclic chemistry. Besides the study of fundamental aspects of transition metal catalyzed reactions, transition metal catalyzed methods will be developed which will allow the synthesis of (novel) heteroaromatic skeletons. These skeletons are interesting scaffolds which after specific decoration are useful in the development process of new drugs and agrochemicals. Special attention in the transition metal catalysis work will be devoted to the C-H (sp2 and sp3) bond activation. In addition C(sp2)-H bond activation via nucleophilic substitution of hydrogen, by the addition of an oxidant instead of a transition metal catalyst, will also be covered. As an extension of the previous research devoted towards the C-functionalization of the pyridazinone core via Pd-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions, the potential of metal-halogen exchange with RMgX will be explored.

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    • Research Project

    Functionalised ceramic membranes for solvent filtration. 01/07/2009 - 30/06/2010

    Abstract

    The application field of ceramic membranes is more and more expanding towards in process separations, which demand solvent stable nanoporous membranes. Ceramic nanoporous membranes are very stable in solvents, however inherently hydrophilic. A tremendous potential for solvent resistant membranes exists for fine-chemical (pharmaceutical, agrochemical, etc.) industry. Therefore, stable ceramic membranes are being developed that exhibit surface organic functional groups to allow strongly improved separations and high fluxes for less polar solvents.

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    • Research Project

    SusChemA. 01/04/2009 - 31/12/2014

    Abstract

    This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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    Project type(s)

    • Research Project

    Raman spectroscopy of structure and kinetics in solution. 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2012

    Abstract

    The research proposal deals with two applications of Raman spectroscopy. The first part is situated in the field of intermolecular interactions, and involves the study of molecular complexes held together by C-Y¿X halogen and/or C-H¿X hydrogen bonds, using solutions in liquid rare gases. The second part involves the use of Raman spectroscopy for the optimization of the reaction parameters of organic reactions that are catalysed by palladium and/or copper-complexes, and the characterization of reaction intermediates.

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    • Research Project

    Synthesis, decoration and biological evaluation of new anellated purines. 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2010

    Abstract

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    • Research Project

    Microwave assisted synthesis of renewable raw materials from triglycerides. 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2010

    Abstract

    Study of the microwave assisted synthesis of renewable raw materials from triglycerides with specific attention for new catalysts and catalyst-free processes. These processes reduce the amount of waste products and they could also be the start of the development of compact industrial production processes (flow-through microwave reactors).

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    • Research Project

    Structure elucidation of synthetic compounds and natural products by NMR and LC-NMR spectroscopy. 19/12/2008 - 18/12/2013

    Abstract

    This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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    • Research Project

    High performance LC-tandem mass spectrometry as necessary equipment for strategic research elucidation of chemical biomolecules and quantitative determination of medicines, metabolites and biomolecules in biological matrices. 19/12/2008 - 18/12/2013

    Abstract

    This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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    • Research Project

    Development of Pd-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions and the effect of additives on the reaction rate. 01/10/2008 - 20/09/2009

    Abstract

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    • Research Project

    Stille reactions: Study of a new halide effect and development of a new approach for the efficient removal of trialkyltin halides. 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2010

    Abstract

    In this project the effect of halide ions on the rate and mechanism of Stille reactions will be investigated. In addition an alternative aproach for the separation of trialkyltinhalogenide from the reaction product will be optimized.

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    • Research Project

    Synthesis and evaluation of derivatives of 5-methyl-5H-indolo [2,3-c] quinoline (isoneocryptolepine); a new antiplasmodial indoloquinoline. 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2009

    Abstract

    The aim of this project is three-fold. First we will optimize the synthesis of the isoneocryptolepine skeleton. For this purpose, we will use a recently (by our lab) developed procedure: a consecutive or tandem Buchwald-Hartwig amination - intramolecular Pd-catalyzed arylation. We will also apply this method for our second goal: the synthesis of D-ring substituted isoneocryptolepines. We prefer the aminoalkylamino- or aminoalkylgroup, because of their indispensable importance for the drug chloroquine. Finally, we will also synthesize ring-modified isoneocryptolepines: removal of the D-ring, reduction of the D-ring and the synthesis of the isoquinoline isomer of isoneocryptolepine. On this last mentioned isomer, we will also remove and reduce the D-ring.

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    • Research Project

    Silica based mesoporous organic-inorganic hybrid materials. 01/10/2007 - 30/09/2008

    Abstract

    The focus of this project is essentially on PMO's (Periodic Mesoporous Organosilica's), a new class of porous hybrid materials. BTEB (1,4-bistriethoxysolylbenzene) is used as a precursor, which results in a structure with crystalline walls. Due to organic functionalisation of the benzene molecule, further modification of the materials is possible. In literature the possible applications of PMO's are frequently mentioned but never explored in detail. Therefore the goal of this research is to investigate the possible use of these materials in applications as catalysis and metal scavenging and to compare them with the already existing analogue functionalized polymer and silicamaterials

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    • Research Project

    Heterocyclic synthesis medicinal and supramolecular chemistry. (FWO Vis. Fel., Oksana RYABTSOVA, Russia) 01/09/2007 - 31/08/2008

    Abstract

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    • Research Project

    Perfluoralkyl chemicals in the food chain: a risk analysis to support policy. (PERFOOD). 01/07/2007 - 30/04/2012

    Abstract

    This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Federal Public Service. UA provides the Federal Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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      • Research Project

      Heterocyclic synthesis in medicinal and supramolecular chemistry. 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2011

      Abstract

      In the frame of a 'Scientific Research Community 'of the 'Fund for Scientific Research Flanders' (FWO-Flanders) research laboratories of KuLeuven, UG, VUB and UA will collaborate on the topics: - New methodologies in heterocyclic chemistry - Medicinal chemistry based on heterocyclic components - Supramolecular chemistry based on heterocyclic skeletons

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      • Research Project

      Synthesis, decoration and biological evaluation of new anellated purines. 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2008

      Abstract

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      • Research Project

      Study of a new halide effect in palladium catalyzed C-C bond forming reactions and development of new antiplatelet agents based on a pyridazin-3(2H)-one skelet. 01/10/2006 - 30/09/2008

      Abstract

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      • Research Project

      Raman spectroscopy of structure and kinetics in solution. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2009

      Abstract

      The proposed research consists of two parts. The first part is situated in the field of weakly bound molecular complexes. In the second part of the proposal, carried out in co-operation with prof. dr. B. Maes of the 'Organic Synthesis' group of our department, Raman spectroscopy will be used for the optimisation of the reaction parameters of several important, recently developed, organic reactions that are catalysed by palladium and/or copper-complexes. The central theme of the first part is the study of halogen bonds. The latter type of association is formed when a C-X (X = CI, Br or I) bond interacts with a nucleophilic site in another molecule [14]. Such interactions is possible when the C-X bond is strongly polarized by fluorine atoms that are present in the same molecule: as a consequence of the polarization, the halogen atom has a partial positive charge, which can attractively interact with an electron rich region in another molecule.

      Researcher(s)

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      • Research Project

      Synthesis of Aminoalkylamino-substituted Neocryptolepine Analogues: Valorisation of the Cryptolepine Alkaloids as Antimalarials. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2007

      Abstract

      The aim of this project is the synthesis of aminoalkylamino substituted neocryptolepine derivatives. Herewith we aim to decrease the cytotoxicity and to increase the antiplasmodial activity of the natural product neocryptolepine. These substituted neocryptolepines will be prepared from the corresponding chloroneocryptolepines using a Buchwald-Hartwig amination. 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 7-, 8-, 9-, 10- and 11-chloroneocryptolepine will be synthesized via respectively a 'condensation - Graebe-Ullmann', a 'Palladium catalyzed amination - arylation' and a 'Friedel-Crafts acylation - intramolecular nitrene C-H insertion' approach.

      Researcher(s)

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      Project type(s)

      • Research Project

      Synthesis and evaluation of derivatives of 5-methyl-5H-indolo [2,3-c] quinoline (isoneocryptolepine); a new antiplasmodial indoloquinoline. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2007

      Abstract

      The aim of this project is three-fold. First we will optimize the synthesis of the isoneocryptolepine skeleton. For this purpose, we will use a recently (by our lab) developed procedure: a consecutive or tandem Buchwald-Hartwig amination - intramolecular Pd-catalyzed arylation. We will also apply this method for our second goal: the synthesis of D-ring substituted isoneocryptolepines. We prefer the aminoalkylamino- or aminoalkylgroup, because of their indispensable importance for the drug chloroquine. Finally, we will also synthesize ring-modified isoneocryptolepines: removal of the D-ring, reduction of the D-ring and the synthesis of the isoquinoline isomer of isoneocryptolepine. On this last mentioned isomer, we will also remove and reduce the D-ring.

      Researcher(s)

      Research team(s)

      Project type(s)

      • Research Project

      Study of the Transesterification of Triglycerides with Mono-alcohols under Microwave Heating. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2007

      Abstract

      Study of the transesterification of triglycerides with mono-alcohols under microwave heating, aiming increased conversion and reaction speed, as well as the use of lower (up to zero) concentration of catalyst. Realization of these targets would lead to cheaper biodiesel production, to cheaper fatty acid esters of higher alcohols (higher added value), to a reduction of effluents during downstream processing and to more compact industrial production processes (flow-through reactors).

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      • Research Project

      Investigation of New Fundamental Aspects of Palladium-Catalyzed Reactions and their Practical Application in Organic Syntheses. 01/05/2005 - 30/04/2009

      Abstract

      In this research proposal two new fundamental aspects of palladium-catalyzed reactions are investigated ("base effect" and "transhalogenation") and their practical application in organic syntheses. Moreover, partly based on the knowledge of the "base effect", tandem Pd-catalyzed N arylation- and tandem Pd-catalyzed N and C arylation protocols will be developed to allow the efficient synthesis of (substituted) polycyclic azaheteroaromatic skeletons.

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      • Research Project

      Nucleophilic Substitution of Hydrogen under Temperature-Controlled Microwave Heating. 01/04/2005 - 31/12/2005

      Abstract

      In this project alternative reagents for SNH amination reactions such as the Chichibabin reaction and the oxidative amino-dehydrogenation will be investigated. The effect of fast and homogeneous heating by microwave radiation on s-adduct formation and rearomatization will be investigated. The new reaction conditions have to avoid the drawbacks of the cited reactions and combine the advantages.

      Researcher(s)

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      Project type(s)

      • Research Project

      Synthesis and evaluation of derivatives of 5-methyl-5H-indolo[2,3-c]quinoline (isoneocryptolepine); a new antiplasmodial indoloquinoline. 01/01/2005 - 31/12/2005

      Abstract

      In this project we aim the synthesis of aminoalkylamino- and aminoalkyl- substituted isoneocryptolepines as potential new antiplasmodial compounds. A new synthetic method will be developed for the indoloquinoline skeleton based on modern palladium-catalyzed reactions. D-ring modified derivatives of isoneocryptolepine will also be synthesized and evaluated on their antiplasmodial activity.

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      • Research Project

      Pyridazine Derivates : Investigation of new methods for the direct introduction of carbon substituents and study of a new halide effect in palladium catalyzed C-C bond forming reactions. 01/10/2004 - 30/09/2006

      Abstract

      In this project a new effect of halide anions on transition metal catalysed reactions will be investigated. In addition, new methods for the C-functionalisation of the pyridazine nucleus will be studied via metal-halogen exchange.

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      • Research Project

      Investigation of the effect of temperature controlled microwave flash heating on the reaction rate of palladium catalyzed reactions with chlorinated azaheteroaromatic substrates. 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2006

      Abstract

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      • Research Project

      Synthesis of Aminoalkylamino-substituted Neocryptolepine Analogues: Valorisation of the Cryptolepine Alkaloids as Antimalarials. 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2005

      Abstract

      The aim of this project is the synthesis of aminoalkylamino substituted neocryptolepine derivatives. Herewith we aim to decrease the cytotoxicity and to increase the antiplasmodial activity of the natural product neocryptolepine. These substituted neocryptolepines will be prepared from the corresponding chloroneocryptolepines using a Buchwald-Hartwig amination. 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 7-, 8-, 9-, 10- and 11-chloroneocryptolepine will be synthesized via respectively a 'condensation - Graebe-Ullmann', a 'Palladium catalyzed amination - arylation' and a 'Friedel-Crafts acylation - intramolecular nitrene C-H insertion' approach.

      Researcher(s)

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      Project type(s)

      • Research Project

      Investigation of new methods for the direct introduction of carbon substituents on the pyridazin-3(2H)-one skeleton via organometallic chemistry. 01/10/2003 - 30/09/2004

      Abstract

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      • Research Project

      01/07/2003 - 31/12/2003

      Abstract

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      • Research Project

      01/03/2003 - 30/09/2005

      Abstract

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      • Research Project

      01/09/2002 - 28/02/2003

      Abstract

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        • Research Project

        01/01/2002 - 31/12/2003

        Abstract

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        • Research Project

        Submitting novel chemical compounds in accordance with the research strategy defined by the team. 01/11/2001 - 31/10/2003

        Abstract

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        • Research Project

        01/10/2001 - 31/01/2003

        Abstract

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          • Research Project

          01/10/2001 - 30/09/2002

          Abstract

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            • Research Project

            01/10/1998 - 30/09/1999

            Abstract

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              • Research Project

              01/10/1997 - 30/09/1998

              Abstract

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                • Research Project