Thandeka Tshabalala has completed her MSc in 2014 at the age of 24 years from University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree under the supervison of Assoc Prof Stephen. O. Ojwach at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on the design and development of palladium complexes as catalysts for the methoxycarbonylation of olefins. She has published 2 papers in reputed journal.
Methoxycarbonylation of olefins is an important reaction in organic transformation since the resulting esters can be converted to alcohols, acids, and used for the preparation of detergents . Palladium based catalysts have attracted considerable interest in recent years in the methoxycarbonylation reactions . In this contribution, reactions of N-(1H-benzoimidazol-2-ylmethyl)-2-methoxy aniline (L1) and N-(1H-benzoimidazol-2-ylmethyl)-2-bromo aniline (L2) with [PdClMe(COD)] afforded the neutral palladium complexes, [PdClMe(L1)] (1) and [PdClMe(L2] (2), respectively. Treatment of 1 and 2 with one equivalent of PPh3 in the presence of NaBAr4 (Ar = 3,5-(CF3)2C6H3) produced the corresponding cationic species, [PdMe(L1)]BAr4 (3) and [PdMe(L2)]BAr4 (4). All the palladium complexes formed active catalysts in the methoxycarbonylation of internal and terminal olefins (Figure 1). The effects of reaction conditions such as catalyst structure, acid promoter, nature of the phosphine deriatives and olefin chain length have been investigated and are herein discussed.
Audience Take away:
• The audience will learn the importance of olefins i.e. they can be used as substrates in a variety of catalytic reactions such as polymerization, oligomerization, carbonylation and hydrogenation.
• The audience will have to understand that without olefins; we will have to imagine life without packaging detergents, sun creams or lubricants. Products would not be as fresh and crisp, clothes would not be protected and our cars would under perform.
• The audience will know the importance of esters.
• They will be able to know how to use palladium complexes in the preparation of esters through catalysis (methoxycarbonylation).