Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carbonic Acid—And Yet It Exists!

23.09.2014

Preparation and characterization of gas-phase carbonic acid and its monomethyl ester

Until fairly recently, scientists were convinced that carbonic acid (H2CO3) does not exist as a stable molecule. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, German researchers have now introduced a simple pyrolytic method for the production of gas-phase carbonic acid that allowed the spectroscopic characterization of gas-phase carbonic acid and its monomethyl ester.


Carbonic acid is a physiologically important molecule. For example, it helps maintain a constant pH value for blood and is an important intermediate in the formation of the carbon dioxide we exhale. It is also likely to play an essential role in CO2 sequestration technologies. There is also much evidence for the presence of solid carbonic acid in extraterrestrial ice, including on the surface of Mars, and in interstellar regions.

A team led by Peter R. Schreiner at the University of Giessen has now developed a novel and broadly applicable method for the production of gas-phase carbonic acid. Their technique is based on the pyrolysis of a readily available precursor molecule (Di-tert-butyl dicarbonate) in the gas phase.

The resulting carbonic acid is trapped in an extremely cold, noble gas matrix. By starting with a different precursor molecule, the researchers were able to extend their new pyrolysis technique to obtain gas-phase carbonic acid monomethyl ester for the first time.

Trapped in their icy matrix, the carbonic acid and carbonic acid monomethyl ester could be subjected to exhaustive infrared spectroscopic studies for the first time. Comparison of the data with theoretically calculated values showed excellent agreement.

The results of these experiments bring new insight into a matter of controversy concerning carbonic acid: are there really, as was proposed by several teams of researchers some time ago, two different crystalline forms of carbonic acid, the alpha and beta forms? Schreiner and his co-workers say this is not the case.

Their spectroscopic data agree perfectly with the vapor phase above the theoretical beta form, but not the vapor phase of the solid thought to be the alpha form of carbonic acid. However, the spectra of the carbonic acid monomethyl ester correspond beautifully to this supposed alpha-carbonic acid.

Says Schreiner: “It is clear that the molecule previously thought to be the alpha form of carbonic acid is actually the carbonic acid monomethyl ester.” This conclusion is in accord with the method used to prepare the “alpha form”, which uses methanol as a solvent under acidic conditions that favor an esterification reaction between carbonic acid and methanol.

“Our results shed new light on the gas-phase chemistry of carbonic acid,” says Schreiner. “They will be highly useful for the identification of carbonic acid in the environment and the atmosphere, as well as in astrophysical research.”

About the Author

Dr. Peter R. Schreiner is a Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Gießen. He and his research group are interested in understanding organic chemistry at its most fundamental level, including the preparation of previously unknown molecules, the use of hydrogen-bonding organocatalysts, and the development of the chemistry of nanodiamonds. He is an elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and is the recipient of the Dirac Medal.

Author: Peter R. Schreiner, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen (Germany), http://www.uni-giessen.de/cms/fbz/fb08/Inst/organische-chemie/agschreiner

Title: Gas-Phase Preparation of Carbonic Acid and Its Monomethyl Ester

Angewandte Chemie International Edition Permalink to the original article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201406969 – Please use in your news piece to make sure altmetric.com picks it up and a link to your piece is shown on the journal's website.

Peter R. Schreiner | Angewandte Chemie

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>