Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Barcelona

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Megestrol Acetate is a semi-synthetic steroid hormone of the progestin family and currently used as a drug therapy in many areas including treatments of cancers and AIDS. The final step to form the bulk drug is an isomerization using palladium on carbon with cyclohexene as an activator. This step is sensitive to catalyst quality and is hazardous to sample because of the reactivity of the catalyst. Physical and catalytic properties of the catalyst were evaluated, as were the effects of solid support and different washing strategies. Response of the reaction mixture to catalyst poisons was studied as a function of catalyst type. Different catalysts were evaluated in an effort to identify a more consistent catalyst for the reaction. The reaction mechanism was explored as well as the paths which lead to higher impurity levels. A simple on-line UV method was developed to monitor reaction progress in real time to avoid unnecessary sampling.

Included in

Chemistry Commons