A New Way to Handle Azides for Chemical Intermediates Production

Dec 12th, 2017

An industry-academic team represented by scientists from Georgia State University and an Italian specialty chemical producer Marino Nebuloni has developed a mild diazidation technology for handling hazardous substances in the production of diamines.

The scientists often suggest organic syntheses that allow producing important chemicals efficiently.  However, there have been a few attempts to introduce these methods in the industry because the process involves the use of hazardous reagents. The wide implementation of these reagents tuned to be both unsafe and cost-prohibitive.

The recent research shows that a novel method can be successfully implemented on a large scale. In 2015 linear and cyclic olefins were first converted to diamines at indoor temperature using a range of hazardous elements such as benziodoxole oxidizer, trimethylsilyl azide and an iron catalyst with tridentate. The results were appreciated by industrial chemists who suggested continuing the research for the large-scale production of diamines by using this method.

The safety assessment of diazide intermediates, diaminium salts and reagents showed that the diazide intermediates and diaminium salts built from them are thermally stable.  After the reaction was improved, diaminium salts can be produced without purification of diazides.

The industry avoided azidation of olefins because azides and diazides were hazardous to handle.  The approach developed by organic chemists ensures a safe, scalable and rapid way to access these energetic reagents.  Vicinal diamines, found in small molecules, work like a building block for the synthesis of intermediate organic compounds.

The method is acquiring a patent for the pharmaceutical sector. Georgia university team is working on a second-generation, more eco-friendly process of getting functionalized olefins and N-heterocyclic building blocks.