Organic Process Development



Scott ParentDupuis 409scott.parent@queensu.ca613-533-6226



Course Description

Students will expand their knowledge of functional group interconversions and C-C bond forming reactions learned in ENCH 245, and apply retrosynthetic analysis to propose multi-step syntheses of organic target molecules.  Selection of reagents, solvents and reaction conditions will be examined in the context of process safety, reaction yield, product isolation, and profitability.  This will be followed by studies of target molecule recovery by extraction, recrystallization, distillation and chromatography.

The design component of the course is a series of two-hour design challenges in which student teams generate solutions to process development problems.  This includes proposing reaction sequences for producing a target molecule, conducting safety analyses of hazardous reactions, choosing from multiple synthetic routes, and recommending separation trains for product isolation.

PREREQUISITES:  ENCH 245 and CHEE 311; no co-requisites or exclusions.

Objectives and Outcomes

This course develops skills in organic synthesis and applies this knowledge in the development of organic processes.

Specific course learning outcomes include:

  1. Apply retrosynthetic analysis tools to design multi-step syntheses of organic target molecules.
  2. Select reagents, solvents, reaction conditions and equipment for different reaction scales that meet engineering process safety and profitability standards.
  3. Understand regulatory compliance constraints and current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) in the context of process design.
  4. Summarize batch and continuous processes with standardized chemical nomenclature and engineering process flow diagrams.

This course assesses the following attributes:

Knowledge base for engineering, Applied Chemistry:  Demonstrates knowledge of applied chemistry and employs it to generate solutions for industrial processes (CLO 1-3): 

CHEE-KB-CHEM-3. Composes detailed mechanisms for reactions used in the synthesis of organic molecules       

CHEE-KB-CHEM-4. Implements multi-step syntheses of organic molecules.

Design (CLO 4):

CHEE-DE-3. Develops equipment, process or product design incorporating performance requirements and constraints such as quality, yield, reliability, economics, safety, and standards and codes as appropriate.

Impact of Engineering (CLO 4)

CHEE-IM-1. Assesses reliability, risk, regulatory compliance and safety and takes appropriate action to mitigate social and/or environmental impacts.

Relevance to the Program

This course is a core course for Engineering Chemistry students. The course builds upon knowledge of organic reaction mechanisms learned in ENCH 245 by shifting focus to the development of processes that yield target molecules.  Students in CHEE 324 will be able to devise multiple organic syntheses of a target molecule, select the most promising synthesis for development, prescribe the required reagents and unit operations, and depict the process as both a chemical synthesis and a process flow diagram.

Course Structure and Activities

3 lecture hours and 1 tutorial hour per week.  Please refer to SOLUS for times and locations.


“Organic Chemistry” by Clayden, Greeves, and Warren. Course lecture slides, assignments and tutorials will be posted onQ.