Development of Processes for Organic Reactions in Water
Suzuki Noriyuki, Professor
Faculty of Science and Technology,Department of Materials and Life Sciences
To achieve more environmentally benign processes in chemical industry, organic reaction processes conducted in water have been attracted. Employing surfactants allow formation of o/w micelles in water medium that has hydrophobic core, and organic reactions can proceed inside those micelle core. However, organic solvents are required to separate the products in the micelle core. That results in more wastes. Therefore, we envisioned that both using water as a reaction medium and separating products with minimum amount of organic solvents can be achieved if the formation of micelle can be turned on and -off at will. We synthesized block copolymers that consist of thermo-responsive polymer and a hydrophilic segment. We also tethered catalyst moieties on the polymer chain. This will allow us not only to conduct reactions in water but also to separate products with less organic solvents.
If we could turn on and off the formation of micelle in water, separating of products from reaction mixture must be more effective. Addition of catalytic ability onto the polymer micelle may allow us to develop novel process that use water as reaction medium.