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  • Writer's pictureAnna G

Ethan Quinn

Updated: Nov 28, 2018

2018 REU Student Profile

Ethan is working towards his degree at Seaton Hill Univeristy in Greensburgh, Pennsylvania. This summer, he has joined Professor Mack's research laboratory to learn more about Green Chemistry.

Ethan came from Seton Hill to Study with Dr. James Mack

Solvent Free Ene-yne Formation in the High Speed Ball Mill

Green chemistry is the basis of my research. In green chemistry there are 12 principles that in an ideal world all should be followed. I am focused on the principles of prevention, safe solvents, and safety. Many organic solvents are horrible for the environment and they account for about 56% of chemical waste. High-speed ball milling is a great way to reduce solvent waste. In most organic reactions, solvent creates an environment that is suitable for reactions to occur, but in the ball mill, solvent is not needed since the ball pulverizes the chemicals and creates enough surface area for the chemicals to react. This summer I will be doing a variety of experiments to try and reduce the amount of solvent used and to find new, more cost-effective ways of chemical synthesis. My research has focused on the solventless creation of bromine and chlorine from alcohols with the potential of using ion pairing in the high-speed ball mill. 1-propyl-1-phenol and 1-phenylethan-1-ol were reacted with LiBr, LiCl, NaBr, and NaCl using the technique of liquid assisted grinding (LAG) with ethanol in attempts to create the respective chloride and bromide. While a couple attempts were successful, the reactions have not been reproducible. We are currently trying to optimize this reaction to do further stereoselective studies. Lastly, I am also exploring ene-yne formation by means of ion switching in the ball mill.

- Ethan Quinn

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