Selective Oxidation of Heterocyclic Amines

Period of Performance: 08/17/2011 - 05/17/2012


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

NALAS Engineering Services Inc.
85 Westbrook Road Array
Centerbrook, CT 06409
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Rhode Island
School of Oceanography 215 South Ferry Road
Kingstown, RI 02882
Institution POC


ABSTRACT: The United States Air Force and the Department of Defense are investigating synthesis, scale-up and production of novel energetic materials including high energy density compounds and fuels. Five-membered heterocyclic rings containing nitro groups have demonstrated great potential as energetic materials. Synthetic and engineering challenges are impeding scientists from safely producing desired materials for further evaluation in energetic material applications. Specifically, selective oxidation of energetic materials poses a significant challenge to investigators. As part of the first phase of this project, NALAS proposes the following work towards the development of a selective mono-oxidation of heterocyclic diamine linked via hetero-atomic linkers: 1. Determination and analysis of oxidative potential of target molecules development of a predictive model 2. Development of a protocol for in situ analysis of oxidation reactions 3. Development of a chemoselective mono-oxidation of the diamine motif based on flexible catalytic systems BENEFIT: Nalas Engineering has an excellent relationship with various vendors that develop and commercialize new products routinely, including Mettler Toledo AutoChem. Mettler Toledo AutoChem has annual sales ranging between $100-200 million for its automated laboratory equipment and in-situ sensors (AutoChem is part of the larger Mettler Toledo family that is currently at $2 billion a year). If successful, Nalas proposes that the work accomplished in this effort will expand through these venues with revenue estimates of $10-20 million per year the first five years in the market attributed to new sensors and attachments to existing market items such as the automated laboratory reactors (RC1 and EasyMax systems). Although Nalas is a new company, their employees have participated on teams that have successfully commercialized or demonstrated commercialization ability through proof-of-concept studies. This particular project is in its infancy and the technologies have not yet been fully developed or integrated. The demand remains high for tools that will aid in process development.