A research group led by Associate Prof. Yuta Nishina of Okayama University developed a technology to synthesize efficiently organobromine compounds known as intermediates of pharmaceuticals and organic electronic materials. At present, four reaction processes are required to synthesize bromocyclohexane, but the newly developed catalyst reduces the number of required processes to one. The existing catalyst loses activity because it reacts to hydrogen bromide that is a by-product of the reaction, but the newly developed catalyst is resistant to hydrogen bromide.
It is a metallic oxide that contains lithium and manganese. It can be produced easily by mixing hydrocarbon and bromine with off-the-shelf reagent and heating them. It costs merely about 10,000 yen per kg to produce. Because complicated reaction processes are required to produce organobromine compounds, it attracts attention as a new catalyst to eliminate complicated reaction processes. The research team recognizes the necessity to elaborate the mixing conditions and improve the method to eliminate by-products before the new catalyst is put into practical application.