Combined Raman and Microwave System: Following a Cinnamic Acid Synthesis

The synthesis of new molecules is often sped up under high temperature and high pressure conditions as provided by a microwave system. Raman spectroscopy is a helpful tool to monitor the progress and to determine the end-point of such chemical reactions in situ.

To demonstrate the potential of Anton Paar’s combined microwave and Raman setup, this report shows in situ monitoring of the synthesis of cinnamic acid, which is an aromatic, unsaturated monocarboxylic acid. Cinnamic acid belongs to a class of natural compounds, phenylpropanoids, which is omnipresent in plants. It plays a key role as a building block for flavor compounds in fruit, aroma compounds and lignin, and is therefore of particular interest in the flavor related chemical industry. It is used to produce synthetic indigo, flavoring agents or various esters for pharmaceutical uses. Here, it serves as a model system that is well understood and represents a typical bond-forming organic synthesis reaction. Combining a Cora 5001 Raman spectrometer with a Monowave 400 R gives the opportunity to monitor the reaction process and to determine the minimum reaction time. Consequently, the use of Anton Paar’s Raman and microwave combination setup paves the way to a fast and target-oriented process optimization.

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