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Woman Scientist Granted Patent on Producing Medicinal Compound

Poonguzhali has successfully transferred commercially available starting materials to medicinally important 2-acylbenzo[b]thiophenes in the presence of copper acetate and tetrabutylammonium chloride catalytic system in water medium and open-air atmosphere at room temperature.

Woman scientist at the Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, E. Poonguzhali has been issued a patent for developing a green methodology for producing a medicinally important compound called Benzo[b]thiophene.

Woman Scientist Medicinal CompoundThe compound is present in a range of medicines such as raloxifene (used in osteoporosis), zileuton (used in asthma), and sertaconazole (antifungal medication) and the one-step synthesis of the 2-substituted benzo[b]thiophene can replace hazardous industrial production of the compound.

“My family had encouraged me to invent green methodology to replace the hazardous methods. When I started my research career with DST support, I designed the green methodology with the help of G. Sekar and Ramesh L. Gardas and succeeded in synthesizing the medicinally important compounds,” said Poonguzhali.

Poonguzhali adds, “My life revolves around my son and my research. My son’s support has helped me overcome the difficulties I have encountered so far and spend time on my research.”

Elaborating on the science behind the mechanism, Poonguzhali said that as water is the medium, no need for organic solvent is involved.

Scientist Poonguzhali has successfully transferred commercially available starting materials to medicinally important 2-acylbenzo[b]thiophenes compound in the presence of copper acetate and tetrabutylammonium chloride catalytic system in water medium and open-air atmosphere at room temperature.

She worked under the WOMAN SCIENTIST SCHEME (WOS-A) Program of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India.

The new method involves using water medium, room temperature, odorless xanthate, open-air atmosphere, handling free inexpensive commercially available starting materials and catalysts in a one-pot manner.

It furnished a good to an excellent yield of 2-acylbenzo[b]thiophenes.

Poonguzhali and G. Sekar treated commercially available 2-iodobenzaldehyde, phenacyl bromide, and xanthate sulfur source in the presence of copper acetate and tetrabutylammonium chloride catalyst to furnish 2-acylbenzo[b]thiophene in a water medium at room temperature.

The thiolate by-product formed usage is being explored.

The remaining side products can be recovered using their solubility properties and reused after purification. The new method also reduces the risk of explosion, decreases the cost of the process and obviates the toxic and hazardous steps involved.

At the same time, the other side products (KI and KBr) and catalyst (copper acetate and tetrabutylammonium chloride) can be recovered and reused for the same reaction and different applications.

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Aishwarya Saxena

A book geek, with creative mind, an electronics degree, and zealous for writing.Creativity is the one thing in her opinion which drove her to enter into editing field. Allured towards south Indian cuisine and culture, love to discover new cultures and their customs. Relishes in discovering new music genres.

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