Why is the optimization of yield important in chemical synthesis?

1 Answer
Jan 30, 2017

#"How much garbage out per garbage in?"# What would economics suggest as to the advantage of a good yield versus a poor yield; or a 2-3 step synthesis, versus a 10 step synthesis?


Suppose a new drug went out on the market. It's a cure for male-pattern baldness (this drug would literally make BILLIONS.......). Only trouble is it's a 10 step synthesis that yields #2%# overall. Of course, they could and would charge the earth for the product.

The chemists refine their synthesis, and they come up with a 3 step sequence with 50% overall yield. Which synthesis do you think they would use? (They wouldn't change the price either!)