Polyols from Natural Oils using the Alkyne Zipper Reaction

Title: POLYURETHANE MATERIALS FORMED FROM UNSATURATED PLANT OILS VIA AN ALKYNE ZIPPER REACTION

Number/Link: US2017/0166679 US2017/0166680

Applicant/Assignee: IBM

Publication Date: 15-june-2017

“Gist”: Oils are turned into alkyne alcohols, ‘zippered’ and oxidized to polyols

Why it is interesting: This is yet  another IBM patent application about interesting, albeit somewhat exotic, chemistry and featuring only “prophetic” examples. In this case unsaturated natural oils are first converted into unsaturated alcohols and then into alkynes by bromination and elimination.  The internal alkynes are then converted to terminal alkynes by an “alkyne zipper reaction” and then into hydroxyl groups by hydroboration and epoxidation/ring-opening. This series of reactions should result in polyols having two primary- and one or more secondary OH groups, useful, for example, for the preparation of sound absorbing foams.

Reaction sequence according to the invention