Exhaust gases from the production of medicines – Journal du geek

It’s no secret: the carbon dioxide produced by industry and thermal vehicles is a major environmental pollutant. But that may not be inevitable. While they wait for a radical model change, many research laboratories are trying to find ways to use this greenhouse gas without being able to prevent emissions.

This is the subject of the work of a team from the University of Bayeurth in Germany. In their latest work, they presented a technique that can be used to synthesize pharmaceutical products from impure CO2, such as that found in car exhaust.

From exhaust gases to medicine

More specifically, they described a simple method that allows this impure CO2 to be used in the synthesis process γ-lactams. It is an organic compound similar to β-lactams and is included in the composition of penicillin and various other antibiotics. According to the authors, these are also γ-lactams essential components in the production of many pharmaceutical products.

“We have described a simple synthetic route for the synthesis of γ-lactams, the cornerstone of many bioactive molecules, from commercially available alkenes and amines and using a stream of impure CO2 (from the gas of “car exhausts”) as a carbon source,” the researchers specify in their work.

One process, two benefits

The advantage of this approach is that it allows this kill one stone with one stone. First, if applied on a large scale, it could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “The main motivation is to reduce air pollution through CO2 enrichment,” explains Shoubik Das, professor of organic chemistry at the University of Bayreuth. “We believe our strategy can strengthen carbon capture and utilization efforts.”

Furthermore, this method could greatly facilitate the synthesis of γ-lactams. In fact, this process previously required a carbon source with a very high level of purity. This involves cleaning steps that are traditionally very energy-intensive and therefore expensive. Direct synthesis of these compounds from impure carbon could massively reduce costs and facilitate access to a sustainable source of γ-lactams. In a broader sense, this would also make it easier to access all the medicines that rely on it.

In addition, this work could also contribute to pharmaceutical research as a whole. The researchers’ study was limited to the synthesis of γ-lactams, but this new method could potentially be used to produce other very useful molecules from exhaust gases.

“This specific application for the production of γ-lactams, which are essential components of many pharmaceutical products, could have latent effects on the pharmaceutical industry, potentially leading to more accessible and cheaper drugs,” the researchers said in the press release.

An approach that needs to be encouraged

Certainly, at this point This is just a proof of concept. So don’t expect to be able to install a pharmaceutical catalyst in your exhaust any time soon. But this is still interesting and promising work, as it offers a way to limit the impact of cars on the environment while profiting from this pollution, which will not disappear overnight.

Approaches like this are valuable. And even if this particular process is never scaled up to an industrial scale, it will be important to do so Continue to explore this type of double solution while you wait to be able to address the problem directly at the root.

The text of the study can be found here.