Leaving Organic Solvents Behind: Chemistry in Aqueous Media

Organizers: Richard Fox, BMS and Paul Richardson, Pfizer

Traditionally, chemists have relied on the use of organic solvents as the primary reaction medium for both academic research and the development of industrial processes. While offering desirable attributes with respect to solubilizing organic compounds and promoting reactivity, organic solvents contribute heavily to overall waste generation, have negative implications for the environment and often derive from finite resources. This session will highlight the advantages chemistry in water can provide with respect to reactivity, cost efficiency and waste generation, as well as tackle common misconceptions of this methodology.  Successful strategies which overcome the commonly perceived challenges of this methodology will be discussed and the exciting opportunities arising from the use of enzymes, catalysts ideally suited to an aqueous environment, in organic synthesis will be highlighted.