The use of glycerol represents a green approach to the synthesis of organometallic complexes, metal nanoparticles and catalytic materials in general (Chem. Eur. J. 2014, DOI : 10.1002/chem.201403534).
This solvent is particularly interesting for applications in catalysis because it has a low cost, non-toxicity, high boiling point (290 ° C), a negligible vapor pressure (<1 mm Hg at 293 K), a high solubilizing capacity (except non-polar compounds) and a low miscibility with other organic solvents.
Palladium nanoparticles immobilized in glycerol are highly active in coupling reactions, hydrogenation (Adv. Synth. Catal. 2013, 355, 3648), and one-pot processes (tandem, cascade, sequential). The catalyst can be recycled more than ten times without loss of activity, with a negligible content of palladium in the organic product, and more recently the application of these systems for the synthesis of heterocycles in one-pot conditions has been developed.
Cu2O nanoparticles are active in azoture-alkyne cycloaddition (AAC) by reaction with the terminal alkyne and the benzylazoture or by approach with three components, the simultaneous mixing of the alkyne, sodium azoture and bromide benzyl corresponding (ChemCatChem. 2014, DOI : 10.1002/cctc.201402214).
The catalytic phase of Cu2ONPs was recycled more than ten times without loss of efficiency. Because of its ability to catalyze the C-N and AAC couplings, Cu2ONPs system could be applied in tandem process leading to multifunctional products in high yields.
The collaboration with the team of Prof. M. Pericàs (ICIQ, Tarragona) as part of a thesis under joint supervision enables the development of metallic systems tailored to glycerol for their applications in enantioselective catalysis. Original chiral ligands "glycerol-soluble" are being synthesized. We develop a stereoselective synthetic route to chiral ligands derived from the PTA having substituents on the carbon atom close phosphorus, functionalization upper rim; at present, only the resolution of mixtures of diastereomers is known. These ligands may be bidentate introducing imidazole or phosphine groups. Subsequent quaternization, if necessary, can increase the solubility in the glycerol environment.