Metal-free catalyst shielding studied

Sep 06, 2006

U.S. scientists say they've found a simple metal free catalyst that can shield a specific alcohol without modifying another nearby alcohol.

Amir Hoveyda and colleagues at Boston College and Scott Denmark and colleagues at the University of Illinois-Urbana say protecting groups are often needed in organic synthesis to shield one part of a molecule from chemical change while another part of the same molecule is altered.

The catalyst found by the researchers puts a protecting group called a silyl ether onto a class of compounds called secondary alcohols, and by protecting that specific alcohol, a chemist can now selectively modify the remaining "unprotected" alcohol.

Since the catalyst does not contain any metals it is more environmentally friendly -- or "greener" -- than many other catalysts, the researchers said. And it can easily be prepared from commercially available materials.

The research is explained in the current issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Does that "green" plasticiser make my PVC flexible enough for you?

Related Stories

Coating noble metal nanoparticles with silica

Feb 04, 2015

A straightforward and effective process for coating silver, gold and platinum nanoparticles with functionalized silica shells at room temperature has been developed by A*STAR . Crucially, unlike conventional ...

Patent solution in a canning jar

Aug 12, 2014

From shopping bags to shampoo bottles to plastic watering cans – many everyday objects both large and small might look very different if it hadn't been for the invention of chemist and Max Planck researcher ...

Recommended for you

How cancer cells avoid shutdown

1 hour ago

A mechanism beyond the level of gene regulation, which is often the underlying reason for changes in protein levels, does enable the strong accumulation of a tumour promoting protease in stressed cancer cells. ...

Aluminum clusters shut down molecular fuel factory

1 hour ago

Despite decades of industrial use, the exact chemical transformations occurring within zeolites, a common material used in the conversion of oil to gasoline, remain poorly understood. Now scientists have ...

New catalyst does more with less platinum

2 hours ago

Platinum is a highly reactive and in-demand catalyst across the chemical and energy industries, but a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Georgia Institute of Technology scientists could reduce the ...

Learning from biology to accelerate discovery

5 hours ago

A spider's web is one of the most intricate constructions in nature, but its precious silk has more than one use. Silk threads can be used as draglines, guidelines, anchors, pheromonal trails, nest lining, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.