Alkene metathesis

Now including Grubbs Catalysts®!

Olefin (or Alkene) metathesis has transformed the landscape of synthetic chemistry. This robust technology provides a predictable, scalable and user-friendly way to rearrange carbon-carbon double bonds, to create molecules and materials of great commercial value.

The acquisition of Materia's Grubbs Catalyst Technology provides you the best of metathesis: technology expertise, an absolutely clear and royalty-free IP landscape, the strong support of Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Robert Grubbs, and the long term commitment and manufacturing capabilities of Umicore.

Some of Umicore Grubbs Catalyst® Technology features:

  • Diverse catalyst portfolio enabling reaction optimization
  • Remarkable functional group tolerance combined to excellent catalyst stability and handling characterics
  • Green and cost-effective processes: low catalyst loadings, solvent-free conditions, and high yielding reactions with low waste
  • Successful use of olefin metathesis reactions on scales ranging from milligram to multi-ton


Primary, secondary and tertiary amines are common functional groups found in various industrial chemicals covering the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and electronic markets. Amines are highly versatile and make ideal intermediates in the synthesis of other chemicals. Therefore, to make your desired chemical, you need a reliable and efficient chemical reaction that is capable of transforming your starting functional group into the required amine as efficiently as possible.

At Umicore PMC, we are committed to providing the most efficient and active catalysts to provide you with the best solutions to create your desired chemical. We can provide active precatalysts such as the Buchwald precatalyst range that excel at cross-coupling reactions, including the Buchwald-Hartwig amination. Browse our range of products below or get in touch to discover how we can create ground-breaking chemistries.

Asymmetric reactions

At Umicore PMC, we specialise in supplying the right catalyst for your reaction. One area that requires our specific expertise is in the supply of asymmetrical catalysts for reaction synthesis. Specific stereoisomers or stereocentres are essential in various industries and are frequently found in chemicals on the fine chemicals market. Many pharmaceutical molecules, fragrances or flavours require the formation of chiral centres to provide the right functionality for the given application.

Whether your desired chemical involves cis- or trans- alkene isomers, or S- or R- carbon stereoisomers, we can supply the right catalyst to help make your synthesis simple. You need to be confident that you will reliably form your desired stereochemical; with Umicore PMC catalysts you can rest assured that your products are the exact stereoisomers you want. Get in touch to find out how we can help build your desired chemical or browse our products to find out how we can help you.

Cross-Coupling reactions with arenes

Along with metathesis and C-H activation, cross-coupling reactions are another way to make carbon-carbon bonds. With many named reactions available to those scientists who wish to synthesise new carbon scaffolds, your Umicore PMC specialist can provide the assistance needed to identify which reaction provides the best, most efficient and effective route to get you to your target molecule.

At Umicore PMC, we offer a selection of highly active catalysts and palladium (II) precatalysts that excel at cross-coupling reactions. Most recently, we added the range of Buchwald and Hazari precatalysts to our portfolio. These precatalysts are highly active and can perform a wide range of cross-coupling reactions. They can even be modified with predetermined carbon ligands to enable rapid reactions. Get in touch to find out how we can help you get the most from your cross-coupling reactions.


Hydrogenation is one of the most common catalytic reactions widely used in the chemicals industry. It involves the addition of hydrogen across unsaturated organic molecules with the aim to reduce or saturate bonds. Alkene and alkyne functional groups are common in various chemical entities, and can be used as intermediates to other groups. For instance, fully reducing either an alkene or alkyne can lead to an alkane chemical backbone.  To achieve this reaction, one could consider using Wilkinson’s catalyst (Rh(PPh3)3Cl), a well-known example of a homogeneous catalyst that has found extensive use in the chemicals industry to reduce an alkene to an alkane.

As well as these famous examples, it is also possible to perform regioselective reactions. Performing these asymmetric reactions requires detailed expertise in chemical reaction development and an understanding of the product being formed. At Umicore PMC, we are always looking to help companies develop new chemistries and uncover new routes to important chemicals. 

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Discover how we can help you develop the industrial reactions you need.