Innovative contribution to the energy transition / Publication in Science Advances
In the cooperative EPSYLON research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Evonik Performance Materials GmbH have succeeded in developing a state-of-the-art and innovative electro-organic synthesis.
The results of their research, presented in last week's issue of Science Advances, allow the use of electrosynthesis as a trend-setting and sustainable green chemistry for technical applications. The method developed allows the operator to react flexibly to the available supply of electricity. Moreover, the operator no longer has to rely on customized electrolysis apparatuses and can use a wide variety of different equipment.
The method of carrying out chemical reactions using electricity was developed more than 160 years ago by German chemist Hermann Kolbe. Although electrochemical syntheses are used in the chemical industry, this has so far been a niche technology. One reason is that the electrolysis conditions must be very finely controlled and uniform current input is essential.
Due to the sophisticated technical infrastructure, the option of electrosynthesis remained unknown to most chemists. Now, in the 21st century, the green potential of electrochemistry has been rediscovered. It makes sustainable and eco-friendly chemistry possible with very simple means, particularly with the use of surplus power from renewable sources, such as wind or solar energy.
Electrochemistry is a versatile and powerful method that can be used to produce various chemical compounds or to effect chemical changes in molecules. To put it simply, electrons replace costly and toxic reagents. Unnecessary wastes can be avoided and the reaction can be halted at any time by simply switching off the power.
Another advantage over classical synthesis is that many individual steps are more easily implemented by electrochemistry. In some cases, this can shorten a synthesis by several steps. However, electrolyses often require a narrow current-density window and long reaction times. In addition, selectivity and scalability are more difficult or even impossible.
The key to the success of the research group headed by Professor Siegfried Waldvogel of the Institute of Organic Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is the use of a unique electrolyte system. The electrolyses here have extremely high stability to variation in current density, allowing operation in a current-density window with a width extending over more than two orders of magnitude, with no loss of productivity or selectivity. If the supply of current permits, the electrolysis may be carried out in a short time with very high current density.
A. Wiebe, B. Riehl, S. Lips, R. Franke, S. R. Waldvogel.
Unexpected high robustness of electrochemical cross-coupling for a broad range of current density, Science Advances 2017, 3, eaao3920.
A researcher setting up a flow electrolysis experiment
photo/©: Alexander Sell, JGU
Up to eight different experiments can be simultaneously performed in this screening electrolyzer. Each small plastic cup houses two electrodes.
photo/©: Carsten Siering, JGU
Professor Dr. Siegfried Waldvogel
Institute of Organic Chemistry
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-26069
fax +49 6131 39-26777
Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
World's smallest optical implantable biodevice
26.04.2018 | Nara Institute of Science and Technology
Cell membrane inspires new ultrathin electronic film
26.04.2018 | University of Tokyo
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Life Sciences
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering