The Industrial Phase-Transfer Catalysis Experts

PTC Tip of the Month E-Newsletter

PTC Tip of the Month - December 2017

PTC-HClO Challenge Answer

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

Pat O’Neill of Pfizer provided the following answer to last month’s challenge.

“I would say that this proceeds via acid catalysed hydrolysis of the enamine to the arylacetaldehyde, followed by alpha chlorination (very activated CH bonds). Finally, the alpha,alpha-dichloroarylacetaldehyde undergoes a facile hydrolysis (like a haloform reaction) to formic acid and the gem-dichloro compound. Alternatively, the dichloroarylacetaldehyde could undergo oxidation by HOCl to the arylacetic acid, which would decarboxylate readily to the same compound.”

This is the second challenge this year for which Pat O’Neill provided the first high quality answers. Thank you, Pat!


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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