Navigation Links
A thin-skinned catalyst for chemical reactions
Date:12/13/2012

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (Dec. 13, 2012) A chemical nanostructure developed by Boston College researchers behaves much like the pores of the skin, serving as a precise control for a typically stubborn method of catalysis that is the workhorse of industrial chemistry.

Scientists have been trying to develop so-called yolk-shell catalysts as a means of imparting greater selectivity on heterogeneous catalysis, a process used in most industrial chemistry, including the manufacture of fine chemicals, petrochemicals and agrochemicals.

Boston College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Chia-Kuang Tsung and his team developed a nanostructure that can regulate chemical reactions thanks to a thin, porous skin capable of precisely filtering molecules based on their size or chemical make-up, the group reported recently in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

"The idea is to make a smarter catalyst," said Tsung. "To do that, we placed a layer of 'skin' on the surface that can discriminate between which chemical reacts or does not react with the catalyst."

The team started with a nanoscale metallic crystal, then applied a "sacrificial layer" of copper oxide over it, Tsung said. Next, a shell of highly refined material known as a metal-organic framework, or MOF, was applied to the structure. Immediately, the polycrystalline MOF adhered to the cooper oxide, forming and outer layer of porous "skin". At the same time, the MOF began to etch away the copper oxide layer from the surface of the crystal, creating a tiny chamber between the skin and the catalyst where the chemical reaction can take place.

Testing the structure with gases of varying molecular structure, Tsung said the skin proved it could allow ethylene, with the small molecule size, to pass through and reach the catalyst. The gas cyclooctene, with larger molecule size, was effectively blocked from reaching the catalyst. Tests showed the central difference between new method and earlier incarnations of yolk-shell catalysts was the creation of the empty chamber between the skin and catalyst, the researchers reported.

Tsung said the unprecedented level of control is a significant step in the use of unique nanoscale chemical structures in the effort to impart greater selectivity and control on heterogeneous catalysis, a proven process used to create chemicals in nearly all areas outside of pharmaceutical research, which employs homogeneous catalysis.

Scientists have been looking for ways to exert greater selectivity in heterogeneous catalysis in an effort to expand its application and extend "green chemistry" benefits of reduced byproducts and waste, Tsung said.

The key to the nanocrystal is the extremely precise structure of the metal-organic framework, Tsung said, which gives the skin an intricate network of pore-like passages through which select gases or liquids can pass before contacting the catalyst and triggering the desired reaction.

"We can make these pores very precisely, just like your skin or like the membrane surrounding a cell," Tsung said. "We can change their composition and chemical properties in order to accept or reject certain types of reactions. That is a level of control chemists in a variety of fields are eager to see nurtured and refined."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ed Hayward
ed.hayward@bc.edu
617-552-4826
Boston College
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Nanocrystals and nickel catalyst substantially improve light-based hydrogen production
2. Arecor Awarded Biomedical Catalyst Funding Towards £1.3 Million Project
3. Creabilis Receives Prestigious Technology Strategy Board Biomedical Catalyst Award
4. Penn team and colleagues create a cheaper and cleaner catalyst for burning methane
5. Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst to Welcome Cambridge University Researchers
6. Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst Opens With Exciting Year Ahead
7. 20% Off Your Entire Order of Scientific, Technical, Medical (STM) Titles Until the End of December at Chemical Publishing Company
8. Cold Adds Up to Sandy Victims' Mold Problems; Optimal Chemical Reaches Out to Help by Advising the Use of Molderizer
9. Chemical Publishing Company Announces its Niche Catalog in the Water Technology and Water Treatment Space
10. Piedmont Chemical Launches 100 Percent Renewable Polyester Polyols Leveraging Renewable Chemicals from DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products and Myriant Corporation
11. Researchers improve technology to detect hazardous chemicals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A thin-skinned catalyst for chemical reactions
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... newly re-branded identity. The new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects a results-driven revitalization ... imaging and image analysis. The re-branding components include a crisp, refreshed logo and ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 - Leading CRO,s Use of ... - Frontage Implement a Single Platform to Manage End-to-end Operations Across ... the Bioanalytical lab Frontage Laboratories, a full-service contract research ... and China , has selected IDBS, ... addition to serving as the global electronic lab notebook (ELN), the ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Kablooe Design, a leading provider of product design and development ... of the business. “We have worked hard to build long-term relationships,” says President and ... and honor of serving their product design and development needs through the years.” , ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... NEW YORK , May 19, 2016 ... Biotech space will fully recover given the relentless pressures ... is for sure in the investors circle though - ... requires due-diligence. Ahead of today,s session, ActiveWallSt.com,s presents four ... PTLA ), Vitae Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/17/2016)... 2016 ABI Research, the leader in ... biometrics market will reach more than $30 billion ... 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to boost ... to reach two billion shipments by 2021 at ... , Research Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance is ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... HANOVER , Allemagne, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> - ... ) - --> ... les solutions biométriques, fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes ... lecteur LF10 de DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... BLUE BELL, Pa. , March 10, 2016   ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing ... in San Diego to help identify ... United States . The test, designed to help determine ... outdoor, pedestrian environment, began in February and will run until ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):