Predicting ruthenium catalysed hydrogenation of esters using machine learning

Challenger Mishra*, Niklas von Wolff*, Abhinav Tripathi, Claire N Brodie, Neil D. Lawrence, Aditya Ravuri, Éric Brémond, Annika Preiss, Amit Kumar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Catalytic hydrogenation of esters is a sustainable approach for the production of fine chemicals, and pharmaceutical drugs. However, the efficiency and cost of catalysts are often bottlenecks in the commercialization of such technologies. The conventional approach to catalyst discovery is based on empiricism, which makes the discovery process time-consuming and expensive. There is an urgent need to develop effective approaches to discover efficient catalysts for hydrogenation reactions. In this work, we develop a machine learning approach aided by Gaussian Processes to predict outcomes of catalytic hydrogenation of esters. Results of the Gaussian Process are compared with Linear regression and Neural Network models. Our optimized models can predict the reaction yields with a root mean square error (RMSE) of 12.1% on unseen data and suggest that the use of certain chemical descriptors (e.g. electronic parameters) selectively can result in a more accurate model. Furthermore, studies have also been carried out for the prediction of catalysts and reaction conditions such as temperature and pressure as well as their validation by performing hydrogenation reactions to improve the poor yields described in the dataset.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-827
Number of pages9
JournalDigital Discovery
Issue number3
Early online date1 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023


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