Student Hosted Seminar in Organic Chemistry: Ex Detritus, Scientia: Revelations from Catalyst Decomposition in Olefin Metathesis

Seminar | December 5 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | 120 Latimer Hall

 Prof. Deryn Fogg, Centre for Catalysis Research & Innovation, and Department of Chemistry & Biomolecular Sciences

 College of Chemistry

Olefin metathesis is the most versatile catalytic methodology now known for the assembly of carbon-carbon bonds. Long embraced by synthetic chemists in academia, it is now seeing uptake in pharmaceutical manufacturing, with the first processes coming on stream in 2014 and 2015 (Figure 1a).1 Notwithstanding the transformative potential of these methodologies, however, molecular metathesis catalysts commonly suffer from limited productivity and reliability in actual operational conditions.1,2 This is a major limitation for adoption into process chemistry.

To date, little research has focused on systematically uncovering the pathways by which the important ruthenium catalysts deactivate or decompose. We believe that such understanding is key to designing better processes and, ultimately, better catalysts. Recent insights into the mechanism of decomposition of key metathesis catalysts (Figure 1b) will be described, which reveal both key challenges, and new opportunities. More broadly, these studies highlight opportunities in an as-yet neglected, but critically important, area of organometallic chemistry and catalysis.

 Light refreshments will be served at 10:50 at The Coffee Lab, 510-643-0572