A novel method for synthesizing N-methyl fluoxetine

The chemical structure of Fluoxetine

N-methyl Fluoxetine is a precursor for the antidepressant Fluoxetine (also known by the tradename Prozac). In this project, I combined theoretical observations with experimental work to develop a method for synthesizing N-methyl Fluoxetine that does not involve chemicals that present a biohazard. Consequently, the synthesis is safe enough to be carried out in a high school laboratory, has a reduced impact on the environment, and gives a comparable yield to the original method. TheĀ  main part of the project was carried out in the chemistry laboratory at Svendborg Technical High School. Analysis of the final product was done at the University of Southern Denmark.

The project was awarded first prize in the Danish Contest for Young Scientists, as well as in the EU Contest for Young Scientists, in 2004.