Scientists at the Institute Smart Materials and Technologies are developing a technology for the production of vanillin, which will be used as a flavoring in the food and perfume industries, and as a semi-product for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. At present, several countries with a developed chemical industry - the USA, Germany, France, and China - possess the technology of industrial vanillin synthesis.
- The volume of vanillin consumption in the world is 15,000-16,000 tons per year, of which only about 20-40 tons is natural vanillin - about 0.2 percent,- says Vladimir Botvin, the head of the Laboratory of Polymer and Composite Materials at the Institute of Institute Smart Materials and Technologies. - The advantage of synthetic vanillin is its low price. The cost of one kilogram of synthetic vanillin is about 75-100 times less than natural ($10-15 against $1500 per kg).
TSU chemists are developing methods for the synthesis of vanillin and of glyoxalic acid as a starting material for its production. As a raw material for the synthesis of acid and vanillin, chemists will use the reagents available in the Russian market - an aqueous solution of glyoxal (for example, produced by LLC Novokhim, Tomsk), as well as solutions of nitric and hydrochloric acids, guaiacol, calcium carbonates and sodium, copper salts, commonly available inorganic acids, and organic solvents. Synthesis of products will be carried out both under conditions of traditional heating and microwave exposure.
-The largest share, 43 % of the world's total production of synthetic vanillin, comes from China,- says Vladimir Botvin. - Russia consumes 280-350 tons of vanillin per year. If there is an effective domestic method for synthesizing this substance, Russian enterprises could completely cover this need.
The emergence of its own vanillin production technology will allow Russia to get rid of import dependence and use its product in the food and perfume industry, as well as in obtaining various medications, such as ftivazide (anti-tuberculosis drug), amoxicillin (semi-synthetic antibiotic of the penicillin group), atenolol (selective beta-1-adrenoblocker), and many others.