The Industrial Phase-Transfer Catalysis Experts

PTC Tip of the Month E-Newsletter

PTC Tip of the Month - January 2014

PTC and Perchlorate?

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

Last week at Informex, I had the pleasure of meeting with Steel Hutchinson, the president of GFS Chemical. We discussed lithium perchlorate and magnesium perchlorate and the stigma perchlorates have that prevents chemists from screening them for a variety of organic chemical reactions.

It turns out that LiClO4 can be used for Diels-Alder, Glycosylations, Friedel-Crafts acylations, transesterifications and other reactions. You can get a 44-page monograph with more than 200 references about perchlorate reactions by contacting GFS and asking for “GFS publication #495 – Practical Use of Anhydrous LiClO4 and Mg(ClO4)2 in Organic Synthesis”

Some of the publications use ether as solvent. One could speculate whether polyethylene glycols (e.g., PEG-400) could serve as complexing phase-transfer catalysts to transfer Li perchlorate into organic solvents and activate the “naked” ions to perform the reactions at shorter reaction times than those shown in the monograph. Of course, one would need to perform hazard operations analysis before running any such reactions and GFS has expressed commitment to provide technical and safety data for perchlorates.

If your company can benefit from achieving higher process performance in a shorter development time by having access to the best PTC expertise available, now contact Marc Halpern by  E-mail to inquire about using phase-transfer catalysis to achieve low-cost high-performance green chemistry.

If you’re not sure if PTC can help your reaction, now fill out the form shown at and send it to Marc Halpern by fax at +1 856-222-1124 or by E-mail of a scanned copy. If we do not have a secrecy agreement already in place, please use “R-groups” instead of the exact chemical structures.

Lithium Perchlorate Info

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!).