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Metal-Free Hydrogenation Catalysts


Status: Available
Inventor: Dr. Doug Stephan
Institution: University of Toronto
GreenCentre Contact: Andrew Pasternak





Eliminating toxic metals in common chemical transformations

Hydrogenation is one of the most common and valuable chemical transformations and a core reaction for the production of the myriad of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals on which society has come to rely.  However, traditional hydrogenation methods involve catalysts that contain heavy metals that are scarce, toxic, expensive, and difficult to handle safely.

GreenCentre is currently developing a series of metal-free catalysts that have the ability to selectively hydrogenate complex molecules in a more environmentally friendly manner. This technology, licensed from PARTEQ Innovations and invented by Dr. Doug Stephan from the University of Toronto, offers a unique solution for the elimination of toxic metal catalysts in hydrogenation reactions.  This reduces waste production during manufacturing and improves the toxicity profile of the overall industrial process.

GreenCentre supported Dr. Stephan with the development of his discovery with a Proof of Principle funding grant in the amount of $50, 000. The technology has been in-licensed by GreenCentre and is now being further developed for a wide variety of important reactions in the fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural industries.

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