Sustainable chemistry solutions for industrial challenges: mechanisms of PVC degradation and stabilization; reversible ionic liquids for CO₂ capture; efficient Suzuki coupling of basic, nitrogen containing substrates
Rumple, Amber C.
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The thermal degradation of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a significant processing challenge which can lead to deleterious mechanical and optical properties in a wide range of products. Synergetic studies on PVC model compounds and blends of bulk PVC provide unique insights into the thermal degradation and stabilization pathways in the presence of common additives. Model PVC compounds were selected to replicate specific defects (e.g., allylic, vicinal and tertiary) and tacticity (i.e., utilizing stereochemistry to investigate tacticity) commonly found in PVC. Model studies were conducted neat (solvent-free) with metal carboxylates. Experimental results highlight that the allylic and tertiary defects are more reactive than pristine PVC and isotactic sites are more reactive than their syndiotactic counterparts. Zinc stearate was found to act not in the role of substituent, but as a Lewis acid by facilitating dehydrochlorination of labile chlorides. This prevents the accumulation of hydrogen chloride and autocatalytic chain unzipping. In contrast, calcium stearate delayed the formation of zinc chloride, a much stronger Lewis acid than zinc stearate, through an ion exchange process to form calcium chloride. Thermal weight loss studies using blends of bulk PVC proved critical in transferring mechanistic insights into the context of a polymeric matrix. Post-combustion carbon capture has traditionally involved the use of aqueous alkanol amine solutions. The regeneration of such systems, however, can be costly and energy intensive. We have developed an alternative system utilizing silylated alkylamines to reversibly capture CO2 under near ambient conditions. The silyl amines developed capture CO2 through chemical reaction to form reversible ionic liquids (RevIL). RevILs utilize no added water and are tunable by molecular design allowing us to influence industrially relevant carbon capture properties such as viscosity, temperature of reversal, and enthalpy of regeneration, while maximizing overall CO2 capture capacity. We demonstrate a strong structure-property relationship among the silyl amines where minor structural modifications lead to significant changes in the bulk properties of the RevIL. Amine containing substrates are important building blocks for a variety of biological and pharmaceutical compounds. However, application of the otherwise versatile Suzuki reaction to these substrates has proved challenging due to either ligation of the amine to the palladium or to electronic effects slowing the oxidative addition step. Conventional methods to overcome these challenges involve protection-deprotection strategies or the use of designer ligands to facilitate reaction. We have shown that application of CO2 pressure and adjusting the water content of the reaction system facilitate the Suzuki coupling of 4-amino-2-halopyridines in high yield with the simple Pd(TPP)2Cl2 catalyst. The protocol was expanded to 2-halopyridines. The results of these investigations will be discussed.