Both the US and the EU patent offices have granted the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) the exclusive exploitation rights to a new waste valorization method that offers a sustainable alternative to the preparation of valuable pharmaceuticals (i.e. Prozac®) and agrochemicals from fluoroform, a sub-product obtained when preparing Teflon.
Fluoroform is a highly pollutant, greenhouse effect chemical compound made of carbon and fluorine atoms. It is generated as one of the main waste products in the preparation of popular anti-adherent polymer Teflon. Eliminating fluoroform is expensive, mostly because it is a very good flame retardant, hence burning it is almost impossible.
Nevertheless, ICIQ researchers led by Prof. Vladimir Grushin saw in fluoroform an opportunity. Taking advantage of a product that is usually wasted, chemists developed a method to obtain organic compounds modified with fluorine atoms. These compounds can be used to prepare all sorts of added-value products from drugs, like the popular antidepressant Prozac®, several prostate cancer treatments, agrochemicals and new materials.
Patent Offices from the US and the EU granted ICIQ the exclusive rights over this new synthesis method. Currently, ICIQ is looking for allies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries to licence and exploit this new and original waste-valorization technology.
More information on the ICIQ website.