2-Amino-1 3-Propanediol Synthesis Essay

Serinol (2-Amino-1,3-propanediol)

It is a small molecule - big impact

2-Amino-1,3-propanediol (1,3-dihydroxy-isopropylamine, aminoglycerin or amino-trimethylenglykol) has a molecular formula of C3H9NO2 belongs to the group of amino alcohols and is prochiral. As it is a structural analogue to the amino acid serine, the common designation is serinol. It is very stable, corrosive, hygroscopic, and dissolves very well in water. It has a molecular weight of 91.11 g/mol, melts at 52 to 56 °C, and has a boiling point of 115 to 116 °C. The amino alcohol serinol (2-amino-1,3-propanediol) has become a common intermediate for several chemical processes


2-Amino-1, 3 –propanediol, DL-SERINOL, 82419-36-1, Serinol 98% , S8002DI-Serinol, 2-Aminoglycerol

2-Amino-1, 3-propaned , 2-AMINO-1,3-PROPANDIOL, 2-Aminopropan-1, 3-diol, 2-AmIno-1, 3-propanediol, 1, 3-dihydroxy-isopropylamine, aminoglycerin or amino-trimethylenglykol

Chemical intermediate applications

The amino alcohols are useful intermediates for a wide variety of synthesis. Many chemical reactions are common to the amino alcohols to form following examples;

  • amides and amide esters with carboxylic acids and organic acid esters

  • amino acids by oxidation of the alcohol and by hydrolysis of the amide

  • diamines with nitro alcohols

  • heterocyclic organic compounds such as oxazoline by dehydration

  • oxazolidine with aldehydes or ketones

  • oxazoline esters and diesters with three moles of an organic acid

  • poly(amideester) with dibasic acid

  • salts with inorganic acids

Emulsifier applications

Amino alcohols are used for production of efficient anionic emulsifiers and nonionic polyethylene emulsions. They appear in personal care products formulations and show better base strength, lower neutral equivalent, and lower volatility than traditional amine emulsifiers. Amino alcohols are used in personal-care products with the neutralization function of acid raw materials. They render resinous materials water-soluble. They provide base strength values with low odor levels, good water and alcohol solubility and color stability in cosmetics.

Coating application

The difunctionality of amino alcohols makes them useful as raw materials in polymer applications in both water- and solvent-based to increase the solubility of other components and improve solution stability. They function as a pigment dispersion-aid dispersant to enhance the wetting and viscosity stability. The salts of the amino alcohols are also used in coating to improve the package stability.

Corrosion Inhibition application

Amino Alcohols maintain a constant alkalinity in the boiling water flows and condensate not to form solid products which would impede line flow. This function is applied for corrosion Inhibits. They are widely employed in the preparation of water soluble cationic flocculants and ion exchange resins which adsorb solid and colloidal particles by electrostatic attraction. They are used for water treatment, metal treatmet and absorption of CO2 gas.

Catalyst application

The salts of the amino alcohols like not only hydrochloride salts but also nitrate, sulfate, phosphate, and sulfonate salts can be used alone or in combination with other catalysts for balanced curing action with selected textile-resins.

Biochemical application

In biological field, amino alcohol structure is widely found in many drugs especially antihistamines. Shingosine, the major base of the sphingolipids in mammals for signal transmission and cell recognition is an amino alcohol. Amino alcohol compounds are the starting materials in the preparation of beta-lactam antibiotics, humectant for foods and cosmetics, flavouring agents as well as many oral, injectable or topical pharmaceuticals. Amino alcohols are amine buffers used in a variety of medications.

Serinol / 2-amino-1,3-propanediol

2-amino-1, 3-propanediol, which carries the trivial name of serinol, is an organic compound from the group of alkanolamines. It is a prochiral compound that is an intermediate product in the production of various fine chemicals, including drugs. Under standard conditions, it is a solid, which is very soluble in water. 2-amino-1, 3-propanediol is a very stable, hygroscopic and corrosive substance.

The name serinol was chosen because of the structural similarity to the amino acidserine. In extension, derivatives thereof with substituents on the carbons of serinol are also called serinols.

Applications for Serinol

2-amino-1, 3-propanediol has been used in the manufacture of medicines (the antibioticchloramphenicol ) since the 1940s. It is well tolerated by the body and is incorporated into several other pharmaceuticals.

2-amino-1, 3-propanediol is a diol with which polyesters can be prepared which may have biomedical applications.


Optically active (S)-(+)-amphetamine hydrochloride (5�HCl) was prepared from (1S,2S)-2-amino-1-phenyl-1,3-propanediol (1) via its 3-iodo intermediate (3). A phthaloyl group was used for protecting the amine function.

2-Amino-1-aryl-1,3-propanediols are the key intermediates in the synthesis of chloramphenicol-type antibiotics. Only the (1R,2R) isomers are biologically active, while their (1S,2S) enantiomers are devoid of such activity. In contrast to the recently reported enantioselective synthesis of chloramphenicol1, the industrial syntheses of the aminodiols involve an optical resolution of racemic intermediate supplying both enantiomers with equal chemical and optical purity. Attempts at utilizing the undesired stereoisomers have been made in many laboratories, resulting in a variety of interesting applications as well as chemical transformations. From a practical point of view, a conversion of the inactive (1S,2S) enantiomers into the active (1R,2R) ones is an important problem. As yet, it has been solved by applying two strategies. One of them involves a racemization2,3, which again necessitates a resolution, the other one deals with a stereoselective transformation of one enantiomer into the other without racemization4. An example of inversion of configuration at only one stereogenic center was also described5. As optically active amines, both enantiomers of 2-amino-1-aryl-1,3-propanediols have been used as resolving agents for the optical resolution of racemic organic acids6-8. They have also found broad application as a chiral auxiliary in asymmetric synthesis, e.g. in Strecker aminoacids synthesis9,10, Michael addition11,12, reduction13, C-alkylation14,15 and in the famous Meyers� oxazoline chemistry16. There are also reports on asymmetric reactions mediated by these aminodiols used as chelating ligands or catalysts17-19. They serve as chiral starting material in the synthesis of various optically active molecules. Apart from the above mentioned oxazolines18,20,21 other heterocycles20-23as well as important aminoalcohols: (S,S)-norpseudoephedrine24,25 and (R)-phenylalaninol26 have been prepared.

In this paper we report an efficient method for converting (S,S)-2-amino-1-phenyl-1,3-propanediol (1) into homochiral (S)-(+)-amphetamine (5). The sequence of synthetic transformations is shown in Scheme 1.

Scheme 1

      i. Phthalic anhydride ii. PPh3, I2, toluene iii. H2/Pd-C, Et3N, ethyl acetate iv. NH2NH2·H2O, n-butanol

In order to realize the outlined strategy, selection of a proper amine protecting group was essential. As followed from our experience and was proven by others24-28, the phthaloyl group proved to be superior to acyl or alkoxycarbonyl ones. Thus, treatment of 1 with freshly sublimed phthalic anhydride at 160�C under atmospheric pressure resulted in N-phthaloyl deriv 2 (88%), which crystallized persistently with 1/3 of a molecule of water of crystallization, melting at 180-180.5�C and showing [α]D20 +40.6, while the corresponding data reported27 for anhydrous 2 were 164-168°C, [α]D20 +41.1, respectively. In the next step the bstitution of both hydroxyl groups by hydrogen via the corresponding diiodo intermediate as planned. The well known triphenylphosphine/iodine/imidazole in boiling toluene system seemed to be the reagent of choice for direct replacement of hydroxyls by iodine. When the reaction was run in the absence of imidazole, however, the monoiodide 3 was obtained in 86% yield (mp 141-142°C). Apparently it results from a diiodo intermediate in which the benzylic iodine was reduced by hydriodide formed as a by-product in this process29. The reductive dehalogenation of iodide 3 with hydrogen under pressure (1.5 atmosphere) in the presence of 10% Pd/C and triethylamine afforded N-phthaloylamphetamine (4) in 94% yield mp 78-79�C. The N-phthaloyl protecting group was then removed by hydrazinolysis in boiling n-butanol. As a result, (S)-(+)-amphetamine hydrochloride (5·HCl) was obtained in 61% yield (mp 156.5-158.5°C). The physical data of so prepared 5·HCl are identical, within experimental error, with those reported In the literature for a sample prepared from racemic amphetamine by chemical resolution with D-tartaric acid (mp 156°C, Amphetamine hydrochloride (5·HCl) turned out to be difficult to handle when anhydrous. It was characterized by 1H- and 13C-NMR spectra.

This short and efficient synthesis of (S)-(+)-amphetamine (5) from (1S,2S)-2-amino-1-phenyl-1,3-propanediol (1) in 44% overall yield demonstrates another possibility of making use of the waste isomers formed in the production of chloramphenicol antibiotics.



Melting points: determined on a Koffler block. IR spectra: Pekrin-Elmer 180 in KBr pellets. 1H NMR and 13C NMR spectra: Varian Gemini 300, TMS as internal standard. Mass spectra, chemical ionization: Finnigan 10150. Specific rotation: Perkin Elmer Polarimeter 2438. Macherey-Nagel silica gel 60 (200-300 mesh) was used for column chromatography and Merck DC-Alufolien Kieselgel 60 F254 for TLC. (1S,2S)-2-amino-1-phenyl-1,3-propanediol was purchased from Fluka AG.

(1S,2S)-1-Phenyl-2-phthalimido-1,3-propanediol (2)

(1S,2S)-2-amino-1-phenyl-1,3-propanediol (1) (3.34 g, 20 mmol) and phthalic anhydride (2.96 g, 20 mmol) were melted together at 160�C and stirred for few minutes until the mixture turned into a solid. After cooling it was dissolved in hot methanol and left for crystallization. The crystals were filtered off to give 5.22 g (88%) of 2, mp 180-180.5�C (lit.27164-168�C)

(R)-3-Iodo-1-phenyl-2-phthalimidopropane (3)

To a refluxing solution of compound 2 (1.48 g, 5 mmol) and triphenylphosphine (3.41 g, 13 mmol) in toluene (25 ml), iodine (3.30 g, 13 mmol) was added portionwise. The mixture was heated at reflux for 1 h, then anhydrous ethanol (0.5 ml) was added in two portions at ca. 1/2 h intervals. The mixture was then cooled to R.T., decanted and the residue was washed with toluene (2x20 ml). The combined organic extracts were washed with saturated Na2S2O3 sol., then with water, dried and the solvent was evaporated. The oily residue, dissolved in methanol, deposited crystalline 3 in 86% yield, mp 141-142�C.

(S)-N-Phthaloylamphetamine (4)

A solution of compound 3 (1.13 g, 2.97 mmol) in ethyl acetate (45 ml) in the presence of triethylamine (1.88 ml) and 10% Pd/C catalyst (226 mg) was hydrogenated under the pressure of 1.5 atmosphere of hydrogen for 20 h. The catalyst was then filtered off and the filtrate was washed with 5% aqueous hydrochloric acid. The organic phase was dried and the solvent was evaporated to give 0.72 g (94%) of crystalline residue, which after crystallization from ether/hexane showed mp 78-79°C (lit.32 mp 78-78.5°C)

(S)-(+)-Amphetamine hydrochloride (5·HCl)

N-Phthaloylamphetamine (4) (0.94 g, 3.55 mmol) in n-butanol (50 ml) and 80% aqueous hydrazine (1 ml) were heated at reflux for 2 h. The mixture was left at R.T. for 18 h and then the precipitate was filtered off and washed with n-butanol (10 ml). After addition of 6N hydrochloric acid (2.5 ml) the filtrate was concentrated to half of its volume, the precipitate was filtered off and the filtrate concentrated again. It yielded a solid which was recrystallized from ethanol/ethyl ether to give 0.31 g (61%) of pure (S)-(+)-amphetamine hydrochloride (5�HCl), mp 156.5-158.5�C (lit.30 mp 156�C)



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