Scalable cat

Tore Hansen and colleagues at the University of Oslo in Norway have developed an efficient approach to synthesizing polymer beads containing the amino acid proline and its derivatives, for use in organocatalysis. Their scalable approach could eventually be used in large-scale industrial catalyst production. Chiral proline is a useful and versatile organocatalyst for asymmetric reactions, in particular, reactions of aldols important to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Supporting proline on polymer beads boosts their performance significantly. "Our approach is more efficient but it's also more readily scalable so you can actually use this is on a preparative scale to make large amounts of the catalyst," says Hansen.