Research in our group focuses on environmentally friendly organic synthesis using bismuth compounds. With increasing environmental concerns, the need for environmentally friendly organic synthesis following Green Chemistry principles has assumed increased importance. The Pollution Prevention Act, passed in 1990, was especially important in increasing an interest in Green Chemistry, which is the design and redesign of chemical processes with a view of improving safety. Our group focuses on synthetic methodology i.e. the transformation of one functional group to another. Such transformations are of special relevance in the pharmaceutical industry for manufacture of life saving drugs. Many of the current organic synthesis methods utilize toxic and corrosive catalysts and reagents. In contrast, methods utilizing bismuth(III) salts are environmentally friendly because most bismuth compounds are non-toxic, non-corrosive, and inexpensive.
The goal of this project was to utilize bismuth(III) triflate and bismuth(III) bromide, as catalysts for the synthesis of cyclic acetals, the allylation of tetrahydropyranyl and tetrahydrofuranyl ethers, and the allylation of aldehydes. All these processes utilize many Green Chemistry principles such as the use of non-toxic reagents, room temperature reaction conditions and at times solvent-free conditions.
Krabbe, Scott W., "Green Chemistry Using Bismuth(III) Salts: Synthesis of Cyclic Acetals and Allylation of Tetrahydropyranyl Ethers and Aldehydes" (2010). Honors Projects. Paper 35.