In October 2015 Till Köhler started studying chemistry at the department of chemistry and chemical biology at TU Dortmund. After his bachelor thesis in organic chemistry in September 2018, he stayed at TU Dortmund for his master studies. Within the next two years, he focused on technical chemistry and homogeneous catalysis. He successfully completed his master thesis in the field of ‘oxidative cleavage of methyl oleate’ in September 2020 at the chair of industrial chemistry. During his masters, he received the “Deutschlandstipendium” by BASF and Lanxess. He started his doctoral studies in September 2020.
In chemical Industry, nitriles are versatile products featuring a various follow-up chemistry e.g. amines through hydrogenation or even Amides/Carbonic acids by hydrolysis. Homogeneous catalyzed addition of hydrogen cyanate to olefins can be used to produce nitriles. This so-called hydrocyanation of olefins offers great benefits over more traditional synthesis like Kolbe-nitrile synthesis, that is based on nucleophilic substitution. The low reactivity as well as moderate selectivity towards the linear nitrile while using non-activated olefins like 1-hexene, remains challenging in the application of hydrocyanation in chemical industry.
A novel approach in ligand design for increased catalysts activity while keeping high regioselectivity is highly promising.