The sustainable newcomer

New solvent MTHP simplifies synthesis processes and saves water

Solvents play a big role in manufacturing industry. Kuraray’s 4-methyltetrahydropyran (MTHP) offers clear benefits compared with other solvents. It makes a contribution to sustainable chemical production because it simplifies production processes, reduces waste water and emissions, and can also be recycled.

The production of films, manmade fibres, adhesives, colorants, pharmaceuticals and many other things would not be possible without suitable solvents, which have to meet high demands. They have to dissolve, dilute or disperse other substances without altering their chemical composition. In addition, they are expected to maximise the yield of the end product and minimise by-products and waste. “Kuraray’s MTHP has significant benefits compared with other solvents,” explains product manager François Gautier.

Sustainable chemical production

MTHP has a better toxicity profile than tetrahydrofuran (THF) and is very stable in both alkaline and acid reaction conditions. “MTHP is also highly hydrophobic, i.e. water-repellent,” explains François Gautier. That means it can easily be separated from water, which greatly reduces the amount of wastewater from reactions. In addition, most of the MTHP used can be recovered.

MTHP therefore makes a contribution to sustainable chemical production

François Gautier

Simplified process, higher yield

Another advantage is that much higher yields of the end product can be obtained with MTHP than with THF. Reaction yields of over 80 percent can be achieved with MTHP for instance in LAH reduction reactions. That is significantly higher than the yield from, e.g. THF, which is below 70 percent. In addition, the recovery rate of MTHP is up to 85 percent.

Unlike THF, it can be used in Me-Grignard reactions e.g. in drug synthesis. Using MTHP in organic reactions means that it is possible to skip one reaction step because concentration and the addition of extraction solvents is not necessary, which also reduces the amount of energy used in production. MTHP has a high boiling point (105 °C), so it can also be used in reactions with a very high reaction temperature. That greatly increases its application spectrum.

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