SBIR Phase I: Development of an electrochemical C-C bond forming reaction

Period of Performance: 12/01/2016 - 09/30/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Snapdragon Chemistry Inc
85 Bolton Street RM 239
Cambridge, MA 02140
Firm POC, Principal Investigator


This SBIR Phase I project is proposing the development of a new electrochemical method for the manufacture of chemicals of interest to pharmaceutical, agricultural and fine chemical producers. New chemical manufacturing technologies are needed to reduce the environmental costs and the risk posed by traditional chemical manufacturing technologies. Flow technology is reducing the hazard, environmental impact and cost of drug manufacture while at the same time providing an improved product. This project will develop new chemistries designed to operate using flow technology. The development of such new reactions is necessary to realize the full benefit of flow technology. Further, new equipment for the research laboratory is also necessary to speed the development of this advanced manufacturing technology. NSF investment in the development of advance manufacturing technology like this SBIR Phase I project will have widespread impact on the US economy. The technology promises to lower the cost of producing medicines and materials. The point-of-use production of chemicals enabled by this proposal has the potential to eliminate the need to ship, store and handles hazardous materials. The development of advanced chemical manufacturing technologies such as this project will be a strategic advantage to US manufacturers enabling the creation of new high value molecules using the highly efficient technologies such as this project. This SBIR Phase I project is aimed at the development of an electrochemically-mediated reaction using flow chemistry as practical, safe and sustainable means of replacing hazardous and environmentally damaging catalysts and reagents in the manufacture of high-value chemicals and materials. Carbon-carbon bond forming reactions are of critical importance to the commercial production of medicines and materials. These reactions typically use of highly reactive organometallic reactants in combination with precious metal catalysis to form the bond. This SBIR project is aimed at developing an electrochemical sp2-sp3 bond forming reaction. The project will use the Kolbe electrolysis reaction to generate sp3 radicals which will react with an aryl or vinyl halide in the presence of a nickel catalyst used to activate a sp2-halide bond. Electricity will be used to both oxidize the carboxylates and reduce the nickel catalyst in an electrochemical flow-cell. Developed as a flow process, this method will be readily applicable to commercial scale production. To facilitate development of the reaction the project will also develop an optimal lab-scale electrochemical flow cell. The project goal is to both develop both a more efficient method for sp2-sp3 bond forming and also develop appropriate lab tools to enable other researchers to easily adopt and use the new reaction types.