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Applications of metal triflates and assisted acids as catalysts for organic transformations

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. D.B.G. Williams; Dr. P.S. van Heerden en_US
dc.contributor.author Sibiya, Mike Sbonelo
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-05T14:16:53Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-05T14:16:53Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-05
dc.date.submitted 2012-09
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8089
dc.description Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.abstract The research contained in this thesis was aimed at the applications of Lewis acids (metal triflate salts in particular) and Brønsted acids as catalysts for various organic synthesis reactions. The ultimate objective was to prepare combinations of the Lewis and Brønsted acids to form assisted acids. The assisted acids yield to the formation of highly acidic assisted acids which exhibit high activity as compared to the individual Lewis and Brønsted acids. A detailed literature study was undertaken, with emphasis on the applications of metal triflate salts as catalysts for various organic reactions and the applications of assisted acids. The study was motivated by the fact that metal triflate Lewis acids are thermally stable, non corrosive and water tolerant catalysts, hence can be used industrially to replace the corrosive, moisture sensitive acids as catalysts. However, metal triflates have not yet been recognised and utilised in the chemical industry. On the other hand, the active Brønsted acids such as triflic acid, H2SO4 etc. are corrosive, which restricts the type of construction material to hastelloy. However, the assisted acids composed of less corrosive Brønsted acids and metal triflate Lewis acid is desirable to address the corrosion and safety challenges. The metal triflate salts and Brønsted acids were evaluated as catalysts for etherification reactions of alcohols and olefins, Friedel-Crafts alkylation reactions phenolic substrates with isobutylene. The study showed that some dependence of the charge density to the activity, i.e. metal triflate salts such as Al(OTf)3, Zr(OTf)4 and Sc(OTf)3 with relatively high charge density were more effective in catalysing the reactions than those with relatively smaller charge density such as lanthanides, which were virtually active. The activity of Brønsted acids showed a clear dependence on the acid strength pKa, with H3PO4 giving the least activity. The assisted acids formed via a combination of metal triflate salts with mineral Brønsted acids showed a significant enhancement of the reaction rates as compared to the individual acids. This set of new combined acids was proven to be excellent catalysts for the etherification reactions, Friedel-Crafts alkylation reactions and also for the synthesis of biologically active compounds called chromans. The assisted acids as well as Al(OTf)3, and Zr(OTf)4 could be recycled at least four times without significant loss of activity. The study also showed that assisted acids could be recycled for both etherification and Friedel-Crafts reactions. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Metal triflates en_US
dc.subject Organic compounds en_US
dc.subject Catalysts en_US
dc.subject Lewis acids
dc.subject Organic reaction mechanisms
dc.subject Organic chemistry
dc.title Applications of metal triflates and assisted acids as catalysts for organic transformations en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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