Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship - ElectronsOnRun

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Introduction

Electrochemical fluorination under microflow conditions (ElectronsOnRun) is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Individual Fellowship. The project is carried out in the SynBioC group at the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology at Ghent University by Anna Vanluchene under the supervision of Professor Christian Stevens from September 2022 to August 2024.

Project description

Fluorination reactions of organic compounds are widely prevalent in the pharmaceutical industry. Introduction of fluorine into drug molecules increases the drug’s lipophilicity, improves its stability and pharmacokinetic properties. Despite the great importance of the fluorination reactions, these reactions still encounter several problems such as low yield and selectivity, high demand on safety operational conditions and low sustainability.

This project is focusing on the fluorination and trfiluoromethylation of functionalized piperidines. Piperidines are organic compounds with several biological and therapeutic properties. They have a wide inhibitory activity against several enzymes of medical interest. In this project we introduce a cutting-edge interdisciplinary approach to make the fluorination reaction more sustainable, safe and to increase the reaction yield, by transferring electrochemical fluorination reactions into a flow microreactor. The advantage of electrochemical reactions is that the side products are minimized as no chemical reagents are necessary. The main advantages of microreactors are excellent heat and mass transfer properties and high surface to volume ratio. The precise control of the temperature profile in the reactor and the residence time enhances process safety and leads to high reaction selectivity. An electrochemical flow microreactor will be developed and optimized for fluorination reactions of piperidines. The proposed innovation will show a new specific application of an electrochemical microreactor. This is an important step in electrification of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry which leads to overall higher sustainability of the chemical production. In addition, by overcoming above mentioned problems with fluorination reactions in a batch, it will be demonstrated that microreactors have a valuable place in the chemical industry.

Objectives

These are the objectives of ElectronsOnRun:

  • Objective 1: A novel method of fluorination of aliphatic N-heterocyclic compounds will be developed and applied on a scope of functionalized piperidines.
  • Objective 2: An electrochemical microreactor will be assembled and optimized. The variables with the highest impact on the reaction yield and selectivity will be optimized.

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University will fully support the successful implementation of the project. The SynBioC group of Ghent University is hosting the postdoctoral research fellow.

Website

to be announced soon

Contact

Prof. Christian Stevens
Department: Department of Green Chemistry and Technology
Phone number: +32 9 264 59 57
E-mail    

Dr. Anna Vanluchene
Department: Department of Green Chemistry and Technology
Phone number: +32 9 264 59 64
E-mail