Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Iron-based process promises greener, cheaper, safer drug, perfume production

Date:
November 28, 2013
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
Researchers have developed a series of techniques to create a variety of very active iron-based catalysts necessary to produce the alcohols and amines used in the drug and perfume industry. The new synthetic methods promise to be safer and more economical and environmentally friendly than traditional industrial processes.

University of Toronto researchers have developed a series of techniques to create a variety of very active iron-based catalysts necessary to produce the alcohols and amines used in the drug and perfume industry. The new synthetic methods promise to be safer and more economical and environmentally friendly than traditional industrial processes.

Related Articles


The research takes advantage of Earth's extensive supply of iron -- the fifth most abundant naturally occurring metal -- substituting it in place of the rare elements of ruthenium, rhodium, palladium and platinum traditionally used in the design of hydrogenation catalysts. The result is an exceptionally efficient class of iron complexes whose abilities rival and even surpass those of conventional industrial catalysts.

"There is a research effort world-wide to make chemical processes more sustainable and green by replacing the rare, expensive and potentially toxic elements used in hydrogenation, catalytic converters in cars, fuel cells for the efficient conversion of chemical energy into electricity, and silicone coatings, with abundant ions such as iron," says U of T chemistry professor Robert Morris, principal investigator of a study reported in the November 29 issue of Science. "Iron is about 10,000 times cheaper to obtain than ruthenium. And less than 200 metric tons of platinum-type metals are mined in the world every year, not all of it can be recycled after use, it is not essential to life, and it can be toxic."

"We found a way to make the ferrous form of iron behave in a catalytic process much more efficiently than a precious metal. We did this by finding molecules containing nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon and hydrogen, that bond to, and enhance, the reactivity of iron," says Morris.

The scientists inexpensively produced varieties of alcohol with different biological properties -- which can be used in flavour and drug synthesis -- and different smells, a property important to the perfume industry. In one example from the study, the precursor alcohol to a cancer treatment can be made using the hydrogenation process catalyzed by iron. Using iron, the resulting complex is often a better catalyst than the industrial one based on ruthenium.

The sustainable technology incubator GreenCentre Canada is already pursuing the commercialization of the new iron catalysts.


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. W. Zuo, A. J. Lough, Y. F. Li, R. H. Morris. Amine(imine)diphosphine Iron Catalysts for Asymmetric Transfer Hydrogenation of Ketones and Imines. Science, 2013; 342 (6162): 1080 DOI: 10.1126/science.1244466

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "Iron-based process promises greener, cheaper, safer drug, perfume production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131128141417.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2013, November 28). Iron-based process promises greener, cheaper, safer drug, perfume production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131128141417.htm
University of Toronto. "Iron-based process promises greener, cheaper, safer drug, perfume production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131128141417.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Flying Enthusiast Converts Real-Life Aircraft Cockpit Into Simulator

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) A virtual flying enthusiast converts parts of a written-off Airbus aircraft into a working flight simulator in his northern Slovenian home. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Microsoft Adds Robot Guards, Ushers In Sci-Fi Apocalypse

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Microsoft has robotic security guards working at its Silicon Valley Campus. Video provided by Newsy
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