The chemical industry relies on small organic building blocks for the production of polymers, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, dyes, textiles, etc., and all of these originate from fossil fuels. The smallest is carbon monoxide (CO), which is a particularly important one-carbon building block for synthesis. Unfortunately, the CO-gas has toxic properties and is also odorless, without flavour and colour, making it difficult and dangerous to
Handle. In the last 4 years we have developed new, safe and easy to handle CO-release molecules. These substances release only CO in the presence of a catalyst and in a controlled manner. This research has provided alternative and safe ways to work with a toxic gas in organic synthesis.
In the lecture, I will review the discovery, development and commercialization of this new technology, which has shown several uses in the Farmaindustry. The method has been used to produce several
Bioactive molecules as well as for isotope-labelling studies with carbon-14 in metabolic studies, carbon-13 in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and carbon-11 in Positron emission tomography (PET). Finally, I will explain how the technique can be extrapolated to the safe handling of other interesting gases for synthesis such as CO2, ethylene, cyanide and hydrogen.