We have developed unique expertise in the application of diazomethane in synthetic chemistry.

Sterling’s first-class hazardous chemistry capabilities and expertise in the use of diazomethane means we can create opportunities to improve large scale manufacturing processes.

Diazomethane (CH2N2) has proven to be a highly versatile building block in synthetic chemistry and has been successfully applied to install methyl or methylene groups into target compounds. While the importance of diazomethane in small scale laboratory synthesis has been established for many years, the explosive and toxic hazards associated with its use have meant that it has commonly been avoided in large scale manufacture with many companies unable or unwilling to embrace its use.

Diazomethane at Sterling

We have developed a process that uses a diazomethane precursor that is significantly less hazardous than the most commonly used alternatives. This precursor is prepared from cheap, readily available building blocks and no longer has the requirement to distil as a solution in organic solvent. The precursor can also be stored under ambient temperature and pressure for more than six months.

Our world-class hazard evaluation capabilities have also recently been extended with new state-of-the-art equipment designed specifically for probing the deepest areas in diazomethane understanding. This hazard evaluation work has generated a diazomethane data set and profile that we believe to be the most accurate and up-to-date in the industry.

We have robust chemical and engineering controls and have conducted experimental work to ensure the application of diazomethane is thoroughly understood and the health, safety and environmental (HSE) challenges controlled. We have worked on numerous projects and have the necessary resources in place to support this type of chemistry.

Key benefits

  • With the modern drive to make chemical processes “greener” and more environmentally friendly, diazomethane presents itself as a very atom efficient reagent
  • Diazomethane provides a synthetic tool that is applicable to many situations. Having such a versatile methodology at hand can greatly improve the efficiency of process development and avoid developing conditions and reagents unique to every example
  • Diazomethane is also continuously generated and immediately consumed, allowing generation being carefully matched to the kinetics of the substrate and ultimately keep inventory low.