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Chemistry: Researchers develop novel, inexpensive catalysts enabling noble metal chemistry

Date:
November 23, 2021
Source:
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Summary:
Alkynes have many uses in industry. Until now, it was assumed that gold- or platinum-based catalysts were absolutely necessary for certain chemical reactions with alkynes. Chemists have now succeeded in carrying out the same reactions with considerably less expensive materials.
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Alkynes have many uses in industry. Until now, it was assumed that gold- or platinum-based catalysts were absolutely necessary for certain chemical reactions with alkynes. Chemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have now succeeded in carrying out the same reactions with considerably less expensive materials. The team reports on its work in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Alkynes are hydrocarbons that contain carbon-carbon triple bonds. They are among the basic building blocks of organic chemistry. "For the desired industrial reactions, the triple bond must be activated in a special, so-called soft, manner. So far, this has been observed primarily in reactions with catalysts based on precious metals, especially gold or platinum. There is a long-standing consensus in the scientific community on why these elements dominate in the intricate types of alkynes' activation," explains Professor Konstantin Amsharov from the Institute for Chemistry at MLU. However, gold and platinum are not only expensive but also relatively rare.

In the new study, the chemists show that under certain conditions, a catalyst based on aluminium oxide induces activation of alkynes similarly to gold- and platinum-based catalysts. "This material is inexpensive and accessible," says Amsharov. The team also provides an explanation for this. "With our new approach, we can mimic the interaction of gold and alkyne species at the electron level. In some cases, the reactions were even more efficient," says Amsharov.

So far, the researchers have proven the new method only on a laboratory scale. "With our study, we have provided fundamental proof that metal oxides can be used as comparable catalysts," says Dr Vladimir Akhmetov from MLU, co-author of the paper. Further studies will now investigate which common reactions the discovery could be applied to.

The study was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)


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Materials provided by Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vladimir Akhmetov, Mikhail Feofanov, Dmitry I. Sharapa, Konstantin Amsharov. Alumina-Mediated π-Activation of Alkynes. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2021; 143 (37): 15420 DOI: 10.1021/jacs.1c07845

Cite This Page:

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. "Chemistry: Researchers develop novel, inexpensive catalysts enabling noble metal chemistry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 November 2021. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211123131341.htm>.
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. (2021, November 23). Chemistry: Researchers develop novel, inexpensive catalysts enabling noble metal chemistry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211123131341.htm
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. "Chemistry: Researchers develop novel, inexpensive catalysts enabling noble metal chemistry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/11/211123131341.htm (accessed May 23, 2024).

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