Synthesis of Dimethylphosphonate Epoxides for Future Use in the Creation of 1,2-Amino Alcohols

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Epoxide rings, also known as Oxirane rings, are formed between two carbons and an oxygen atom. These highly strained rings owe their chemical importance to the ease with which they can be opened[1]. The goal of this project was to synthesize 2 different dimethylphosphonate epoxides through various epoxidation methods. These phosphonate epoxides, synthesized from, propenal and cinnamaldehyde, could be used as starting materials in the synthesis of 1,2 – amino alcohols. These nitrogen containing alcohols are chemically important because they could possibly be used in anti-giardia lamblia treatments[2]. Giardia lamblia, scientifically known as Giardia intestinalis, is a parasite which causes the diarrheal illness called Giardiasis in up to one third of some countries’ populations, including South Africa[3]. The products created during this project were characterized via 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR and 31P-NMR.

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