Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UCR chemists use 'green chemistry' to produce amines, chemical compounds used widely in industry

17.06.2008
Catalyst discovered in Guy Bertrand's lab helps produce amines at low cost and no waste products

Chemists at UC Riverside have discovered an inexpensive, clean and quick way to prepare amines – nitrogen-containing organic compounds derived from ammonia that have wide industrial applications such as solvents, additives, anti-foam agents, corrosion inhibitors, detergents, dyes and bactericides.

Currently, industries produce amines in a costly two-step process that results in massive amounts of byproducts as waste.

"Although there are several methods to prepare amines on laboratory scales, most of them are not suitable for commodity chemical production not only because of the formation of waste materials but also because the cost of the starting substances used to prepare amines is high," said Guy Bertrand, a distinguished professor of chemistry, whose lab made the discovery.

... more about:
»Organic »UCR »ammonia »catalyst »produce

Bertrand explained that, currently, companies use hydrochloric acid, a highly corrosive solution, to produce amines. To generate one ton of amines, manufacturers must discard three tons of byproducts, adding to the overall cost of production.

"Our 'green chemistry' method, however, produces no waste, which makes it inexpensive," Bertrand said. "Moreover, the reaction is a quick one-step reaction, and you need a tiny amount of a catalyst to do the trick." (A catalyst is a substance which increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself being used up in the reaction.)

Study results appear online in Angewandte Chemie. A print version of the research paper will appear soon in the journal as well.

The catalyst in question – a gold atom linked to a cyclic alkyl amino carbene or CAAC – is a ligand (a special molecule that binds to metals) that Bertrand's lab discovered in 2005.

The gold compound readily catalyzes the addition of ammonia – a colorless, pungent gas composed of nitrogen and hydrogen – to a number of organic compounds. One such chemical reaction involves ammonia combining with acetylene to produce an amine derivative; a carbon-nitrogen bond is created in this reaction.

"One of the greatest challenges in chemistry is to develop atom-efficient processes for the combination of ammonia with single organic molecules to create carbon-nitrogen bonds," Bertrand said. In atom-efficient processes, the amount of starting materials equals the amount of all products generated, with no atoms wasted.

More than 100 million tons of ammonia are produced annually in the world, and the production of amines similarly is huge. Essential to life as constituents of amino acids, amines occur in drugs and vitamins, and are used also to manufacture cosmetics, cleaning and crop protection agents, plastics, and coating resins.

"Our study paves the way for finding catalysts that mediate the addition of ammonia to simple alkenes, which are organic compounds containing a carbon-carbon double bond," Bertrand said. "This process is widely considered to be one of the ten greatest challenges for catalytic chemistry."

Bertrand, an internationally renowned scientist and a member of the French Academy of Sciences, came to UCR in 2001 from France's national research agency, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). At UCR, he directs the UCR-CNRS Joint Research Chemistry Laboratory, the first permanent French science laboratory in the United States.

He was joined in the research by UCR's Vincent Lavallo (now a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena), Guido D. Frey, Bruno Donnadieu and Michele Soleilhavoup.

UCR's Office of Technology Commercialization has filed a patent application on the new catalyst developed in Bertrand's lab, and is seeking commercial partners to develop it.

The National Institutes of Health and Rhodia, Inc., funded the study.

The University of California, Riverside is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment of about 17,000 is projected to grow to 21,000 students by 2010. The campus is planning a medical school and already has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center. With an annual statewide economic impact of nearly $1 billion, UCR is actively shaping the region's future. To learn more, visit www.ucr.edu or call (951) UCR-NEWS.

Iqbal Pittalwala | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucr.edu

Further reports about: Organic UCR ammonia catalyst produce

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>