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Chemists discover ways to create new ‘out of thin air’ nitrogen products



chemical compound

Credit: CC0 public domain

A convenient move with nitrogen has brought the world closer to creating a wide range of useful products – from dyes to pharmaceuticals ̵

1; in addition to thin air.

The discovery came from a group of Yale chemists who found a way to combine nitrogen in the atmosphere with benzene to create a chemical compound called aniline, a precursor to the materials used to make. a synthetic product.

A study describing the process appeared in the journal nature.

“In the long run, we hope to learn how to use the airborne abundance of nitrogen as a resource to synthesize products that are essential to society,” said chemistry professor Yale Patrick Holland, author. key of the study, said.

Much attention has been focused on “nitrogen fixation”, a process by which atmospheric nitrogen is used to produce ammonia. But as Holland and his colleagues have pointed out, there are many other compounds, materials, and processes that could use nitrogen in other forms – if researchers can find a way to make them with atmospheric nitrogen. .

Other researchers’ previous attempts to incorporate atmospheric nitrogen and benzene have failed, Holland said. Those efforts used highly active derivatives of benzene that would decompose before they could form a chemical reaction with nitrogen.

Holland and his colleagues used an iron compound to break one of the chemical bonds in benzene. They also treated nitrogen with a silicon compound that allowed nitrogen to combine with benzene.

“Essentially, we’re demonstrating a new way of thinking about how to encourage nitrogen to form adaptable new bonds to make other products,” Holland said.


World nitrogen fixation, explained


More information:
Sean F. McWilliams et al. Coupling dinitrogens and hydrocarbons through aryl migration, nature (Year 2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-020-2565-5

Provided by Yale University



Quote: Chemists discover ways to create new ‘nitrogen products from thin air’ (2020, August 12) retrieved August 12, 2020 from https://phys.org/news / 2020-08-chemists-nitrogen-products-thin-air. html

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