A young RUDN researcher speaks about the critical role of water in the Henri reaction at the International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry in Italy

A young RUDN researcher speaks about the critical role of water in the Henri reaction at the International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry in Italy

Vladimir Larionov, PhD, Assistant of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry, presented his research "The critical role of water in the reactivity of a chiral copper coordination polymer in the asymmetric Henri reaction" at the 28th International Conference on Organometallic Chemistry ICOMC-2018 in Florence, Italy. 

His study is devoted to the mechanism of the Henri reaction catalyzed by a copper complex. This reaction occurs with the participation of aldehydes (or ketones) and nitroalkanes with the formation of β-nitro-alcohols. The obtained nitroalcohols can be used for the synthesis of medicinal substances for the treatment of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, as well as antiviral drugs that inhibit the development of HIV: β-blocker (Propanalol), β-receptor agonists (Norepinephrine and Salbutamol), HIV protease inhibitor (Amprenavir or Vertex 478), anthracyclic class of antibiotics (Akosamin) and others.

In the course of the study it was found that the results of the reaction are not reproduced. The researcher managed to find out that the reason lies in the amount of water present. Experiments have shown that with different amounts of water the reaction rate is different. Thus, for the first time it was shown that the water present in the reaction mixture accelerates the rate of the reaction catalyzed by the copper complex. In the course of the research, the mechanism of action of the catalyst was studied in detail. Earlier scientists did not take into account that water somehow participates in the transition state of the reaction. Vladimir Larionov with the help of experiments and quantum chemical calculations managed to show that water has a crucial role in the reactivity of copper. The results of the research in the future can help synthetic chemists predict the mechanism of action of the catalysts, not only in the Henri reaction, but also in other important reactions in the field of organic chemistry.

ICOMC-2018 brought together scientists from all over the world interested in the field of organometallic chemistry. A lot of works were presented in the field of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis, as well as materials science. The conference was attended by more than 1,000 participants from more than 35 countries.

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