Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New catalyst promises cheaper, greener drugs

Date:
March 27, 2012
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
A chemistry team has discovered environmentally-friendly iron-based nanoparticle catalysts that work as well as the expensive, toxic, metal-based catalysts that are currently in wide use by the drug, fragrance and food industry.

A chemistry team at the University of Toronto has discovered environmentally-friendly iron-based nanoparticle catalysts that work as well as the expensive, toxic, metal-based catalysts that are currently in wide use by the drug, fragrance and food industry.

"It is always important to strive to make industrial syntheses more green, and using iron catalysts is not only much less toxic, but it is also much more cost effective," said Jessica Sonnenberg, a PhD student and lead author of a paper published this week in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The research, which was directed by Robert Morris, chair of the Department of Chemistry, involved several steps. Suspecting the existence of nanoparticles, the team first set out to identify the iron catalysts. They then conducted investigations using an electron microscope to confirm that the iron nanoparticles were actually being formed during catalysis. The next step was to ensure that the iron nanoparticles were the active catalytic agents. This was done with polymer and poisoning experiments which showed that only the iron atoms on the surface of a nanoparticle were active.

But a further challenge remained. "Catalysts, even cheap iron ones developed for these types of reaction, still suffer one major downfall," explained Sonnenberg. "They require a one-to-one ratio of very expensive organic ligands -- the molecule that binds to the central metal atom of a chemical compound -- to yield catalytic activity. Our discovery of functional surface nanoparticles opens the door to using much smaller ratios of these expensive compounds relative to the metal centres. This drastically reduces the overall cost of the transformations."

The research team included Neil Coombs at U of T's Centre for Nanostructure Imaging and Imagetek Analytical Imaging Inc., and Paul Dube of the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Funding was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada as a Discovery grant to Morris and as an Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship and Vanier Scholarship to Sonnenberg.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jessica F. Sonnenberg, Neil Coombs, Paul A. Dube, Robert H. Morris. Iron Nanoparticles Catalyzing the Asymmetric Transfer Hydrogenation of Ketones. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2012; 120326165122000 DOI: 10.1021/ja211658t

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "New catalyst promises cheaper, greener drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327124350.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2012, March 27). New catalyst promises cheaper, greener drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327124350.htm
University of Toronto. "New catalyst promises cheaper, greener drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327124350.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Airlines Swanky New Plane

China Airlines Swanky New Plane

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) China Airlines debuted their new Boeing 777, and it's more like a swanky hotel bar than an airplane. Enjoy high-tea, a coffee bar, and a full service bar with cocktails and spirits, and lie-flat in your reclining seats. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins