Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Molecule vending machine

 Nano-catalysis is a fast-growing field of chemistry, which involves the use of nanomaterials as catalysts for a variety of selective organic transformations. Nano-catalysis can be considered as a bridge between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. Because of high surface area of nano materials, the contact between reactants and catalyst increases dramatically and they can operate in the same manner as homogeneous catalysts (homogeneous catalysis), at the same time, due to their insolubility in the reaction solvent, they can be separated out easily from the reaction mixture (heterogeneous). Only the molecules of certain sizes and chemical properties are selected and guided to the reaction centers where they are efficiently transformed to the desired products.

 Solid supports have the potential to house more than one metal and, hence, catalyze multiple types of bond constructions. Such “multifunctional” catalysts attained much attention due to several advantages over mono metal catalyst. The high selectivity of the nano catalyst may help reduce the energy consumption required for product separation and waste disposal processes in chemical industries.

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