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Anton Toutov, Ph.D - VCU College of Engineering. Richmond, VA, US

Anton Toutov, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering | VCU College of Engineering


Dr. Toutov develops new chemical strategies for organic synthesis, catalysis, and medicinal chemistry.


Dr. Toutov develops new chemical strategies for organic synthesis, catalysis, and medicinal chemistry, with a specialization in the discovery of therapeutic agents and PET radiotracers for cancers and CNS diseases.

Industry Expertise (2)



Areas of Expertise (5)

Hydroesulfurization of Fuels

PET Radiotracer Development

Organic Synthesis


Medicinal Chemistry

Education (2)

California Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Organic Chemistry

Queen's University: B.S., Chemistry

Media Appearances (1)

A new chemistry innovation could reduce smog, acid-rain and asthma-inducing pollution

The Conversation  online


I’m an organic chemist developing technologies to solve challenging, large-scale problems like sulfur pollution on a molecular level.

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Selected Articles (3)

A potassium tert-butoxide and hydrosilane system for ultra-deep desulfurization of fuels

Nature Energy

Hydrodesulfurization (HDS) is the process by which sulfur-containing impurities are removed from petroleum streams, typically using a heterogeneous, sulfided transition metal catalyst under high H2 pressures and temperatures. Here we show that a robust potassium (K) alkoxide (O)/hydrosilane (Si)-based (‘KOSi’) system efficiently desulfurizes refractory sulfur heterocycles. Subjecting sulfur-rich diesel (that is, [S] ∼ 10,000 ppm) to KOSi conditions results in a fuel with [S] ∼ 2 ppm, surpassing ambitious future governmental regulatory goals set for fuel sulfur content in all countries

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Alkali Metal-Hydroxide-Catalyzed C(sp)–H Bond silylation

Journal of the American Chemical Society

Disclosed is a mild, scalable, and chemoselective catalytic cross-dehydrogenative C–H bond functionalization protocol for the construction of C(sp)–Si bonds in a single step. The scope of the alkyne and hydrosilane partners is substantial, providing an entry point into various organosilane building blocks and additionally enabling the discovery of a number of novel synthetic strategies. Remarkably, the optimal catalysts are NaOH and KOH

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Silylation of C–H bonds in aromatic heterocycles by an Earth-abundant metal catalyst


This paper describes a new general method for converting ubiquitous carbon–hydrogen bonds into carbon–silicon bonds that both obviates the need for precious metal catalysts and overcomes several of the limitations of previous methods. The method uses inexpensive and readily available potassium tert-butoxide to catalyse the acceptorless cross-dehydrogenative coupling of aromatic heterocycles with hydrosilanes to produce synthetically versatile heteroarylsilanes in a single step. Silicon-containing molecules are of importance in drug discovery, as medical diagnostic agents and as precursors for advanced electronics materials.

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