Dr Antonio Zanotti-Gerosa and Dr Hans G Nedden of Johnson Matthey Catalysis and Chiral Technologies look at recent developments in catalysis for pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.
The reduction of prochiral functional groups, C=C, C=O and C=N bonds using
homogeneous catalysis technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in the pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals industries.
The economics of such reactions must always be assessed in the context of various competitive and complementary technologies, namely biocatalysis and homogeneous and heterogeneous chemocatalysis. A thorough review can prove quite challenging without an extensive understanding of the complexities of catalytic performance.