1. APPLICATIONS IN FINE CHEMICALS AND PHARMACEUTICAL
Dr. Narender Rao Somisetti
2. Electrochemical synthesis
The chlor-alkali process is an industrial process for the electrolysis of sodium chloride. It is the technology used to
produce chlorine and sodium hydroxide (lye/caustic soda).
2NaCl + 2H2O —> 2NaOH + Cl2 + H2
2CH2 =CHCN + H2O → NC(CH2)4 CN +1/2O2
The most successful organic electro synthesis process that has been commercialized is the manufacture of
adiponitrile from acrylonitrile. Adiponitrile (ADP) is a key intermediate for the production of nylon 6, 6 polymers. It is
used for the synthesis of hexamethylene diamine (HMD). 33% of the world consumption is made through
5. Organic Electrochemistry: Why?
Electrochemistry enables the generation reactive intermediates from simple and
ubiquitous functional groups.
The ability of electrochemistry to expediently invert the intrinsic polarity of common
The exceptional mildness and selectivity of electrochemical reactions.
The scalability and robustness of electrochemistry.
Exquisite control of chemo selectivity by “dialing in” reaction potentials.
Electrochemistry proffers reactivities and selectivities not within the purview of most
7. Organic Electrochemistry: Why?
Umpolung: pole reversal; reversion of polarity; turn-over.
Eg. Benzoin condensation in which Cyanide ion catalyzed dimerization of aromatic and heterocyclic
aldehydes to form α-ketols
17. The main advantages of electrochemical processes
• Versatility: Direct or indirect oxidation and reduction, phase separation, concentration or dilution, biocide
functionality, applicability to a variety of media and pollutants in gases, liquids, and solids, and treatment of small to
large volumes from micro liters up to millions of liters.
• Energy efficiency: Lower temperature requirements than their non electrochemical Counterparts and side
reactions being minimized by optimization of electrode structure and cell design.
• Amenability to automation: The system inherent variables of electrochemical processes, for example,
electrode potential and cell current, are particularly suitable for facilitating process automation and control.
• Cost effectiveness: Cell constructions and peripheral equipment are generally simple and if properly designed,
also inexpensive. The backbone of any electrochemical technology is the electrochemical reactor, therefore the
perfect design and scale-up plays an important role in successful of this electrochemical technology.
18. Limitations and challenges
Use in industry still restricted by mechanics of
process – engineering problem
Initial set up costs
Few examples for enantioselective additions or cyclization –
general for radical chemistry