Encapsulated Catalyst

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					Encapsulated Catalyst
A method for placing various catalysts in nanocapsules, which protects the catalysts from harmful
conditions and facilitates their recovery from reaction mixtures.

Reference: 10625

    Key Advantages
       •    Can protect catalysts from adverse conditions, increasing their longevity.
       •    Improved catalyst recovery, which reduces costs.
       •    Possilibity of enhanced and more accessible enantioselective reactions

Catalysis is an integral part of production in industry. By increasing the speed and reducing
the cost of reactions, industry can produce cheaper and more readily available goods and

The rising energy costs and diminuition of fossil fuel based energy sources mean that to
keep production cost effective and maintain our standard of living there needs to be
constant improvements to catalysis methods.

This invention can help improve catalysis by increasing the longevity and recovery of
catalysts in general, reducing the costs involved in the synthesis of the desired product. The
pharmaceutical industry is particularly reliant on catalysis, as a method for the production of
enantiomerically pure compounds. Enantiomers are "mirror image" isomers of compounds,
and many drugs only work as one of the mirror images. This invention can also provide
another path toward enantioselective synthesis (that is, the production of one mirror image
only), at dramatically reduced costs.                                                              Top: The hollow 
                                                                                                   nanocapsules with no 
                                                                                                   catalyst inside them, 
The Invention:                                                                                     observed using 2‐
The increased longevity of the catalyst trapped in the nanocapsule is from the                     photon fluorescence 
nanocapsule's ability to protect the catalyst from adverse conditions (e.g. other catalysts        microscopy  
that can interfere with its operation). This protection means that the catalyst may be used in     Bottom: The same 
harsher conditions, or improving yields and reaction rates without catalyst degredation.           nanocapsules with a 
Hence the versatility of the catalyst can be improved while at the same time the associated        fluorescent dye labelled 
costs are reduced. Furthermore, as the nanocapsules are insoluble, this allows the use of a        enzyme inside them 
normally soluble catalyst without the usual problem of catalyst recovery. Therefore the            (blue). 
recyclability of catalysts can be improved, substantially reducing the cost of the catalyst per
kilogram of product. Finally, there are further possibilities in using these nanocapsules to assist in
enantioselective reactions (e.g. in conjunction with an enzyme).

Pharmaceutical industry: use in conjunction with another enantioselective catalyst to provide high yields with high
purity; any industrial process that uses a heterogeneous catalyst where increase reaction yields, speed, and/or
recyclability are desirable.

Principal Inventors:
Aaron Yap, Alessandro Fois, Associate Professor Anthony Masters & Professor Thomas Maschmeyer

Sydnovate Contact:
Greg Ward
                                                                                        ABN 15 211 513 464
Sydnovate, Level 5,                         T +61 2 9351 4000                           CRICOS 00026A
School of IT Building (J12)                 F +61 2 9351 3636
University of Sydney                        E
NSW 2006 Australia