Synthetic organic chemistry has contributed a lot to modern society. Towards future sustainable society, we are investigating on environment, human health, and energy issues from viewpoints of synthetic organic chemistry. In this lecture, the use of water in place of organic solvents in organic transformations, continuos-flow synthesis, and hydrogen storage and transport for a new energy in future society will be discussed. In these works, novel catalyst systems play key roles.
A homogenized combination of nickel-based Lewis acid–surfactant-combined catalysts (LASCs) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) is shown to exhibit excellent activity in water. The electrochemical behavior of the central metal was modified to address the inherently low Lewis acidity of metal cations. In addition to the enhanced reactivity, stereoselective performance and long-term stability were demonstrated in asymmetric conjugate addition reactions of aldoximes to furnish chiral nitrones in high yields with excellent selectivities. The practical and straightforward application of the designed catalysts in water provides an expedient, environmentally benign, and highly efficient pathway to access optically active compounds.