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UCR chemists use 'green chemistry' to produce amines, chemical compounds used widely in industry
Date:6/12/2008

vered in 2005.

The gold compound readily catalyzes the addition of ammonia a colorless, pungent gas composed of nitrogen and hydrogen to a number of organic compounds. One such chemical reaction involves ammonia combining with acetylene to produce an amine derivative; a carbon-nitrogen bond is created in this reaction.

"One of the greatest challenges in chemistry is to develop atom-efficient processes for the combination of ammonia with single organic molecules to create carbon-nitrogen bonds," Bertrand said. In atom-efficient processes, the amount of starting materials equals the amount of all products generated, with no atoms wasted.

More than 100 million tons of ammonia are produced annually in the world, and the production of amines similarly is huge. Essential to life as constituents of amino acids, amines occur in drugs and vitamins, and are used also to manufacture cosmetics, cleaning and crop protection agents, plastics, and coating resins.

"Our study paves the way for finding catalysts that mediate the addition of ammonia to simple alkenes, which are organic compounds containing a carbon-carbon double bond," Bertrand said. "This process is widely considered to be one of the ten greatest challenges for catalytic chemistry."


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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

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