Natural products go with the flow

Technology that could bring flow chemistry into the domain of complex natural product synthesis has been developed by UK scientists. 

The best things in life don’t come without a struggle – or so the saying goes. It certainly appears that way with chemistry. Very rarely are the chemicals desirable in a modern society made in a single step. Indeed, it is not unusual for a drug to require at least 10 distinct processes. Conventional batch synthesis can often put a considerable burden on the efficiency of these steps, demanding excess chemicals and solvents and generating large and unacceptable quantities of waste materials. 

Now, a team led by Steven Ley at the University of Cambridge are advocating a more machine-assisted approach, particularly using flow chemistry techniques combined with scavenger materials to bring about multi-step operations with in-line purification. 

Natural products go with the flow

To find out more, read the full news story in Chemistry World and download Ley’s Edge article for free from Chemical Science.

Also of interest:
Unclogging the problems of flow chemistry: US scientists have found a way to stop solid by-products clogging channels in continuous flow reactors

 

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