November 20, 2017

2 Min Read
Russian Scientists ID New Hydrocarbon Processing Catalyst
Image courtesy of Alexey Bilyachenko

A group of researchers from the People’s Fellowship University of Russia Research (RUDN) Institute of Chemistry (RIC) in Moscow have identified a new catalyst for hydrocarbon processing that uses less heat and pressure than previous methods, the university announced in a Nov. 17 press release.

The findings, recently published in the Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, discuss the use of organic silicon and germanium derivatives to form 3D structures that incorporate atoms of various metals.

“The catalysts we’ve created contain silicon (or germanium) and metal (copper, iron, cobalt, etc.). They are easily able to break the bonds between carbon and hydrogen atoms both in saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons (the main components of oil and gas) and turn them into valuable products: alcohols, acids, and ethers,” a co-author of the research and deputy director of the RIC, Alexey Bilyachenko, explained in a statement.

Classified as “prismatic metallasilsesquioxanes, the compounds contain a middle metal-containing layer sandwiched between two layers of silicon-containing cycle, with each atom of silicon bound to an organic substitute.

“Critical experiments presented in this work show that a pentanuclear copper-containing compound is effective in homogenous catalyst of the oxidation of secondary alcohol (to ketones) and alkanes (to alkylghydroperoxides) with the use of peroxides,” the university’s release said. “Notably, these reactions take place in ‘mild’ conditions, that is, after minor heating and without increased pressure.”

To view more details on the discovery, click here

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