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
A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes
20.07.2018 | Science China Press
Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers
20.07.2018 | Purdue University
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences