Synthesis of the antimalarial API artemether in a flow reactor

Polina Yaseneva, Dorota Plaza, Xiaolei Fan, Konstantin Loponov, Alexei Lapkin

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The earlier developed flow protocol for stoichiometric reduction of an important biologically derivedpharmaceutical precursor, artemisinin, to dihydroartemisinin was extended to a sequential reaction toproduce one of the final APIs, artemether. A highly active heterogeneous catalyst was found for theetherification reaction. The use of QuadraSil catalyst allows to eliminate one step of reaction workup. Acomparative Life Cycle Assessment of both reactions has shown advantages of the flow process over theoptimized literature batch protocols. Results of LCA highlight the significance of solvents in pharmaceut-icals manufacture and the advantage of flow technology, enabling small solvent inventories to be used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-96
Number of pages7
JournalCatalysis Today
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acid catalysis
  • Artemisinin
  • Flow chemistry
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Malaria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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