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Catalytic C–F Bond Functionalization for the Fixation of Environmentally Persistent Fluorocarbons (FluoroFix)
Start date: Apr 1, 2016, End date: Mar 31, 2021 PROJECT  ONGOING 

The objective of my project is to develop new methods to transform environmentally persistent hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), into reactive chemical building blocks that can be used in chemical manufacture. My team will achieve this by developing a series of new chemical reactions that transform inert carbon–fluorine bonds in HFCs or HFOs into reactive carbon–boron or carbon–aluminum bonds. My team will show that these reactive species can be used to construct carbon–carbon bonds. The idea is to develop a net series of reactions that results in the fixation of fluorine from low-value, volatile, and environmentally damaging organic molecules to high-value, non-volatile organic molecules. When successful, this approach should open up new routes that allow the chemical industry to repurpose HFCs and HFOs as chemical intermediates, and not end products, that complements European Union legislation. By the end of this project, my team will have pioneered methods for the production of agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals from environmentally persistent fluorocarbons.

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