Scripps: New Method Enlists Electricity for Easier, Cheaper, Greener Chemistry

Scripps: New Method Enlists Electricity for Easier, Cheaper, Greener Chemistry

Scripps: New Method Enlists Electricity for Easier, Cheaper, Greener Chemistry

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a new and better way to achieve a chemical reaction that is used widely in the pharmaceutical as well as flavor and fragrance industries.

Traditional methods of “allylic oxidation” typically employ toxic and/or expensive reagents such as chromium, ruthenium or selenium. That largely prevents the reaction from being used at industrial scales, for example to manufacture pharmaceuticals. By contrast, the TSRI chemists’ new method is easily scalable: It uses only inexpensive, safe chemicals, along with old-fashioned electrochemistry—driving a reaction with an electric current.

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