About Pearlhill Technologies
Pearlhill Technologies is a company that received a SBIR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Energy Efficient Manufacturing of Fluoroaromatics. Their project proposes energy efficient microwave-process for the conversion of chloroaromatics to fluoroaromatics by halogen exchange. Currently, fluoroaromatics are produced by conventional heating of appropriate reagents; and potassium fluoride, the fluorinating agent, is poorly soluble in the reaction media. Unlike this process that involves rigorous drying, long reaction periods to obtain high yields while producing decomposition and side reactions, the alternative microwave process will use different fluorinating agents to produce similar yields in shorter reaction period, minimizes decomposition and side reactions, while significantly increasing the energy efficiency of the process. Fluoroaromatic constituents are active ingredients in many pharmaceutical and agrochemical formulations. These include PROZAC (cholesterol medication), PREVACID (ulcer and acid reflux treatment), FLONASE (anti-asthma agent), FLUXETINE (an antidepressant agent), FLUVOXAMINE (an antidepressant), EFFAVIRENZ (antiretroviral therapy for HIV), and MEFLOQUINE (anti-malarial). Others include NORFLURAZON FLURIDONE (herbicides), FLURPRIMIDOL (plant regulator), FLUOTRIMAZOLE and FLUTRIAFOL (fungicides). Over the next decade, some 33 percent of pharmaceuticals drugs, and 9 percent of agrochemicals would be fluorinated, worth over $15 billion in sales. The current manufacturing technology, by conventional heating, consumes several trillion BTU/year. This work will produce technologies that will conserve several billion BTU/year in future manufacturing of fluoroaromatics.