Researchers develop novel flow approach

Flow chemistry technologist Uniqsis has reported that researchers at Lilly SA in Madrid, Spain have developed a novel continuous flow approach for the Wadsworth–Emmons cyclopropanation of alkyl-substituted chiral epoxides into chiral cyclopropane carboxylic acids.

Employing a FlowSyn continuous flow reactor and binary pump in a custom set-up, the researchers developed a new flow process which circumvented the risks associated with the high temperature and pressure required, and the highly volatile nature of the epoxide starting material.

Additionally, the researchers reported that the FlowSyn flow reactor offered increased efficiency, as its reduced headspace contributes to keeping a higher concentration of the low-boiling-point reactants in the liquid phase and thus enhanced reactivity, contrary to the use of sealed vessels in batch.

Using the described approach, the researchers coupled their cyclopropane formation process with in-line workup and hydrolysis transformations to yield the desired enantiomerically pure cyclopropane carboxylic acids in good yields up to the 100g scale. 

Designed by Uniqsis’s team of experienced flow chemists and engineers - FlowSyn is a fully integrated,  continuous flow reactor for seamless reaction optimisation and scale up from milligrams to 100s of grams. 

To read this paper in full click here.


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