News and events

9 October 2019

Research Seminar: Electrochemical Activation of Small Organic Molecules

Presented By Dr Kevin Lam (University of Greenwich)

About this event

Electrochemical Activation of Small Organic Molecules – A Safe, Green, Cheap and Efficient Method to Generate Highly Reactive Intermediates. 

Is electrosynthesis a black box? Does one need to know electrochemistry to run electrolysis? Are electrochemical processes scalable in general? Where can one get the equipment?

Synthetic organic electrochemistry takes its roots from Faradayand Kolbe’sclassic works on electrolysis of aliphatic carboxylic acids. Although a plethora of transformations have been developed ever since and many of them were successfully used in several industrial processes,3,4 the potential of preparative organic electrochemistry remains underestimated. However, the growing impetus to look for greener and more cost-effective alternatives to classic synthetic methodologies recently lead to the development of novel electrosynthetic methods.

During this presentation, we will disclose new, safe, green, affordable and efficient waysto generate highly reactive intermediates.5–7


1              M. Faraday, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, 1832, 122, 125–162.
2              H. Kolbe, Justus Liebigs Ann. Chem., 1849, 69, 257–294.
3              O. Hammerich and B. Speiser, Organic Electrochemistry: Revised and Expanded, CRC Press, 5th edn., 2015.
4              E. J. Horn, B. R. Rosen, Y. Chen, J. Tang, K. Chen, M. D. Eastgate and P. S. Baran, Nature, 2016, 533, 77–81.
5              D. Hayrapetyan, V. Shkepu, O. T. Seilkhanov, Z. Zhanabil and K. Lam, Chem. Commun., 2017, 53, 8451–8454.
6              X. Luo, X. Ma, F. Lebreux, I. E. Markó and K. Lam, Chem. Commun., 2018, 54, 9969–9972.
7              X. Ma, D. F. Dewez, L. Du, X. Luo, I. E. Markó and K. Lam, J. Org. Chem., 2018, 83, acs.joc.8b01994.