New methods in synthesis of azulene derivatives
Azulene is an aromatic bicyclic hydrocarbon with the unique structure. This structure gives azulene and its derivatives a number of unique physicochemical properties. Azulene derivatives are common in nature, and known to be biologically active compounds. Azulene derivatives are shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiulcer and anticancer properties. Moreover, azulene derivatives are of interest in electronics, material science and organic synthesis. Despite a certain progress in azulene chemistry, direct modification of azulene and its derivatives still remains a difficult task. The goal of current project is to develop new general methods for the synthesis of azulene derivatives using the latest discoveries in the field of CH activation and metalation of sensitive (hetero)aromatic compounds, and also to make those compounds more available for biomedical investigation as well as for other research areas.
Development of technology for a new type of second generation biofuel
Within this project we will investigate new technologies to convert lignocellulosic biomass into novel, non-ethanolic, liquid fuels and potential starting materials for chemical industry. Different furan derivatives are considered and studied as potential fuels. Determining the exact mechanism for cellulose conversion to hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is important, since it would significantly facilitate the optimization of reaction conditions. Next we study the conversion of HMF into other furan derivatives as well into highly interesting acyclic compounds which could potentially replace starting materials of fossil origin used by chemical industry by raw materials of lignocellulosic origin.