The development of environmentally friendly and efficient catalysts is a major challenge in the field of chemical research, with the focus now being placed on the search for inexpensive metal catalysts.
At the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis (LIKAT) in Rostock, Matthias Beller, the first recipient of the newly launched European Sustainable Chemistry Award, and his group investigate many aspects of applied homogeneous catalysis and some of his latest results on iron catalysis are highlighted on the cover of a recent issue of Chemistry—A European Journal.
In Matthias Beller's own words "catalysis is the science that tries to explain how chemical reactions can be accelerated and controlled. It is one of the key technologies for creating a sustainable chemistry.” Already today catalysis enables the manufacture of a wide range of products; in fact more than 80% of all chemical products produced in industry, be it in the field of pharmaceuticals, agrochemistry or polymer chemistry (to name but a few), involve catalysts at some stage in the process of their manufacture.
Quinones are industrially relevant compounds, as they are used as antioxidants in food, medical treatments, and cosmetics. Up to now one of the main industrial processes for the production of this class of compounds involves the use of stoichiometric amounts of copper. This results in large amounts of copper waste and product contamination. Iron, on the other hand, is an ideal candidate for catalysis, because of its abundant availability and its relative non-toxicity compared to precious metals.
Beller and his co-workers have developed an iron-catalyzed oxidation of phenols and arenes to give 1,4-quinones. This novel selective oxidation reaction takes place under mild conditions (room temperature, alcoholic solvents) with hydrogen peroxide as benign terminal oxidant. It should be noted, that next to air, H2O2 is the most “green”, and waste-avoiding oxidant. Applying the inexpensive and practical catalyst system consisting of iron trichloride hexahydrate, pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid, and benzylamine co-ligands, the industrially important oxidation reactions of 2,3,6-trimethylphenol and 2-methylnaphthalene took place in 79% and 55% yield, respectively. The work represents just one of many steps that Beller's group are taking "en route" towards more sustainable industrial chemical processes.
Author: Matthias Beller, Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse/Universität Rostock (Germany), http://www.catalysis.de/Beller-Matthias.239.0.html
Title: Selective Iron-Catalyzed Oxidation of Phenols and Arenes with Hydrogen Peroxide: Synthesis of Vitamin E Intermediates and Vitamin K3
Chemistry - A European Journal 2010, 16, No. 34, 10300–10303, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.201001429
Matthias Beller | Wiley-VCH
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine