The Industrial Phase-Transfer Catalysis Experts

PTC Tip of the Month E-Newsletter

PTC Catalyst of the Month - December 2017

173 Quats and Diquats!

By Marc Halpern, the leading expert in industrial phase-transfer catalysis.

We have seen many patents claim many quaternary ammonium and phosphonium salts as phase-transfer catalysts. But this patent by L’Oreal cites 173 specific quats and diquats for pairing with anionic dyes and optical brighteners. It is interesting to browse the eight pages of quat structures shown. David; H.; (L’OREAL), US Patent 9,839,591, 12-Dec-2017

The properties of quaternary ammonium and phosphonium cations that make them good phase-transfer catalysts include the ability to pair with anions and make them lipophilic. The cationic nature and affinity for organic materials, leads to the combination of these quats with the anionic dyes and anionic brighteners resulting in chromatic, powerful and particularly fast coloration on keratin fibers and particularly lightening coloration via an optical effect on dark hair. It makes sense.


About Marc Halpern

Marc Halpern

Dr. Halpern is founder and president of PTC Organics, Inc., the only company dedicated exclusively to developing low-cost high-performance green chemistry processes for the manufacture of organic chemicals using Phase Transfer Catalysis. Dr. Halpern has innovated PTC breakthroughs for pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, petrochemicals, monomers, polymers, flavors & fragrances, dyes & pigments and solvents. Dr. Halpern has provided PTC services on-site at more than 260 industrial process R&D departments in 37 countries and has helped chemical companies save > $200 million. Dr. Halpern co-authored five books including the best-selling “Phase-Transfer Catalysis: Fundamentals, Applications and Industrial Perspectives” and has presented the 2-day course “Practical Phase-Transfer Catalysis” at 50 locations in the US, Europe and Asia.

Dr. Halpern founded the journal “Industrial Phase-Transfer Catalysis” and “The PTC Tip of the Month” enjoyed by 2,100 qualified subscribers, now beyond 130 issues. In 2014, Dr. Halpern is celebrating his 30th year in the chemical industry, including serving as a process chemist at Dow Chemical, a supervisor of process chemistry at ICI, Director of R&D at Sybron Chemicals and founder and president of PTC Organics Inc. (15 years) and PTC Communications Inc. (20 years). Dr. Halpern also co-founded PTC Interface Inc. in 1989 and PTC Value Recovery Inc. in 1999. His academic breakthroughs include the PTC pKa Guidelines, the q-value for quat accessibility and he has achieved industrial PTC breakthroughs for a dozen strong base reactions as well as esterifications, transesterifications, epoxidations and chloromethylations plus contributed to more than 100 other industrial PTC process development projects.

Dr. Halpern has dedicated his adult life to his family and to phase-transfer catalysis (in that order!).

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