Research directed towards sustainable chemistry and eco-compatible processes is conducted within the framework of the regional program PARI II CDEA (Chimie Durable pour l’Environnement et l’Agroalimentaire) and the CPER (Chimie Durable pour l’Environnement, l’Energie et l’Agroalimentaire). Two representative examples are presented below.
Octopus polyphosphine for sustainable catalysis
In 2009 a Valorisation Project (VP) named “Couplages Croisés en Conditions de Catalyse Métallique Durable : nouvelles stratégies scientifiques et économiques bio- et écocompatibles” has been accepted by the Strategy Unit of the CNRS-DPI. The overall goal of this VP is to promote high-efficiency transition metal catalysis under sustainable development conditions, through various strategies based on polyphosphine ligand chemistry, i.e.: i) metal minimization, ii) catalyst recovery, iii) new convergent and cleaner C–C, C–N, C–O, C–S bonds formation, iv) reactivity shifted from expensive/toxic metals to cheap/harmless metals (Pd/Cu). The first invention consisted in the development of general synthetic ways for efficient heterogeneization of a polydentate ligands family. This successful work was first the subject of a French then an International Patent owned by the CNRS: Supported ligands with high local density of coordinating atoms useful for catalysts. Hierso, J.-C.; Beaupérin, M.; Meunier, P. P. Fr. Demande (2011), FR 2961813 A1 20111230 and PCT Int. Appl. (2012), WO 2012001601 A1 20120105. The homogeneous counterpart of the polyphosphine ligands are since 2011 commercially available from STREM Chemicals (under the name HiersoPHOS, see on line catalogue: http://www.strem.com/catalog/family/HiersoPHOS/).
The carbon dioxide and the electron for sustainable chemistry
The development of Eco-Technology Processes to produce stable carbenes and precursors of ionic liquids with low environmental impact, in internal cooperation between OMBC3 and EMMD groups (project manager Dr. J. Andrieu associated to Dr. C. Devillers), has been also accepted as PV by uB/SATT GRAND EST in 2012. The main goal is to produce such molecules valuable for Industry by using in particular carbon dioxide and energy-controlled electrosynthesis. The fundamental concepts have been reported by our groups: Andrieu, Devillers et al. Org. Lett. 2013, 15, 4410. A patent application was filed in July 2014 (No. US 14/323.950 and No. EP 14 177 320.0) and another request is currently in preparation at the “PCT application” patent office. This work has been supplemented by a market study in November 2014, and the SATT GRAND EST agreed to support a second one mid-2015. Industrial groups have shown interests in our products brands: Solvionic ordered four of our products, and Evonik two (we are in contact with the group Oléon for ordering). Our industrial partners Weylchem and Ajinomoto provided us with 90% bio-sourced materials with advantageous conditions. This valorization of Public Research approach conducted by J. Andrieu through bio-based products and virtuous processes has led to two awards: i) Grand Prix ADEME-POLLUTEC of Innovative Techniques for the Environment 2013 and ii) Trophy Eco-innovate in Burgundy, category Development of Research in 2014.
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