#Realtimechemcarnival Guest Post: My Favourite Reagents


Today we have a guest post by @Andy_Nortcliffe. He asked me very nicely if I could host his post and I was more than honoured to do so 🙂 If anyone else wishes to have their post hosted, then just get in touch.


My Favourite Reagents.

First of all, before I start harping on about the stuff in the lab I like to use, I’d like to thank @jessthechemist for hosting my guest blog post, much appreciated.

Now, onto the good stuff- reagents. We all use them, and we all have our favourites, along with the ones we hate to use.

I have a handful of them which are always a pleasure to use and I’m going to share them and hopefully you will all do the same.

1.) Ammonium formate.

Oh, I’ve just heard you all do a sigh of disappointment as you expect something magical as my first favourite, well, sorry. Yes, ammonium formate– super versatile reagent. I rarely do a balloon hydrogenation, following my time in industry where they were pretty much outlawed I’ve learned to get by without them. So my first port of call for needing to do a hydrogenation is trusty ammonium formate. From nitro- reductions, to Cbz/Bn deprotections, it always works a treat for me. Dry it under vacuum, whack in a shed load (it’s cheap as chips) with a tickle of Pd and come back overnight to a spot to spot conversion.

2.) HATU

For any of you with expertise in peptide coupling reagents, you will know that there is a growing list as long as your arm. So I’d like to recommend HATU to you all. It’s not as cheap as some of the others (Alfa Aesar sell at a good price), but it’s worth it for its effectiveness. Combining the reactivity of a racemisation suppressant and a carbodiimide, all in all a good egg. Couple of equivalents with same of Hunigs base and you’re onto a winner.

Last but not least…

3) TFA

So, I choose TFA as I have a thing for tert-butyl esters. I always find stuff survives a lot better stirring in a dram of TFA overnight, than in base for half an hour. So TFA, nasty stuff, but good results.

So if you have any reagents you’d like to share (good or bad), please add to the comments and maybe we can all find a new thing to play with.

Thanks and happy science’ing


One thought on “#Realtimechemcarnival Guest Post: My Favourite Reagents

  1. Pingback: #Realtimechem Carnival Round up: Day 4 and 5 | The Organic Solution

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