Archive for the ‘Hot Article’ Category

Re-routing aromatic degradation to give pyridine dicarboxylic acids

Biocatalytic conversion of lignin to aromatic dicarboxylic acids in Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 by re-routing aromatic degradation pathwaysBritish scientists, lead by Professor Tim Bugg at the University of Warwick, have reported a new method of converting lignin into useful monomers for the chemical industry. Processing difficulties mean that lignin remains an underutilised resource for the production of renewable chemicals. Only with the development of efficient depolymerisation methods will the potential of these waste products be realised. In this latest advance, the metabolic pathways in the bacterium Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 for the degradation of  lignin have been re-routed to generate aromatic dicarboxylic acids. Insertion of recombinant genes into R. jostii RHA1, followed by ammonia cyclisation generates pyridine-2,4-dicarboxylic acid or pyridine-2,5-dicarboxylic acid in yields of up to 125 mg L−1 from a wheat straw lignocellulose feed. The products have been identified as the building blocks of new bio-based polymers, and could help contribute to biomass resource efficiency and growth in the bio-polymer market.

This article is free to access untill 31st August 2015:

Biocatalytic conversion of lignin to aromatic dicarboxylic acids in Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 by re-routing aromatic degradation pathways, Z. Mycroft, M. Gomis, P. Mines, P. Law and T. D. H. Bugg, Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C5GC01347J

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From chip fat to biofuel

Chips in deep fat fryer

© Shutterstock

Researchers from Singapore and China have developed a cheap and green catalytic system for turning fatty acids into fuel that doesn’t require hydrogen or a solvent.

Hydrocarbon biofuels made from waste fats and oils, such as leftover cooking oil could help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Traditionally, these biofuels are synthesised by transesterifying lipids under harsh alkaline conditions; in addition to generating waste solvent, this technique does not remove enough oxygen, so the products are incompatible with diesel engines. The process also doesn’t work with fatty acids as they become soapy and deactivate the catalyst. Read the full article in Chemistry World»


Read the original journal article in Green Chemistry – it’s free to access until 17th August:
Effective deoxygenation of fatty acids over Ni(OAc)2 in the absence of H2 and solvent
Wenjing Li, Yongjun Gao, Siyu Yao, Ding Ma and Ning Yan 
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC01147G, Paper

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Bread leavening proves useful for energy storage

Freshly baked bread

© Shutterstock

 Just like bread, hierarchically porous carbons (HPCs), are judged on their texture; so researchers in China have called on their baking know-how to cook up a sustainable method for producing these supercapacitor components

 HPCs could prove useful in energy storage because of their high surface area and short ion transport pathway. But existing synthetic methods for producing HPCs, including nanocasting and soft-templating, are unfeasible for industrial application as they require complex, expensive processes. Read the full article in Chemistry World» 


Read the original journal article in Green Chemistry – it’s free to access until 3rd August:
Inspired by bread leavening: one-pot synthesis of hierarchically porous carbon for supercapacitors
Jiang Deng, Tianyi Xiong, Fan Xu, Mingming Li, Chuanlong Han, Yutong Gong, Haiyan Wang and Yong Wang 
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00523J, Pape

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Plant waste solar panels

 A low cost, low energy route to solar grade silicon from rice hull ash (RHA), a sustainable source High purity silicon is essential for manufacturing solar panels. Unfortunately this prerequisite conversion of silica to elemental silicon requires a lot of energy, and the associated greenhouse gas emissions are significant. It has now been demonstrated that the ashes from burning biomass (rice hulls in this case) can provide a rich source of silica than can be reduced to give solar grade silicon.

For the preparation of the silica from rice hull ash only dilute acid and hot water are required. The energy requirement to then produce 99.9999% pure silicon is an order of magnitude less than the conventional process and is actually lower than the energy created by burning the rice hulls in the first place. As the carbon dioxide generated by burning biomass is originally fixed from the atmosphere by plants, the carbon footprint for the production of this sustainable silicon is very low.

Read the advanced article in Green Chemistry online now:

A low cost, low energy route to solar grade silicon from rice hull ash (RHA), a sustainable source

Julien C. Marchal, David J. Krug III, Patrick McDonnell, Kai Sun and Richard M. Laine

Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00622H

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Recent HOT articles in Green Chemistry

Check out the following HOT articles, these have all been made free to access for a limited time:

Graphical Abstract
Life Cycle Inventory improvement in the pharmaceutical sector: assessment of the sustainability combining PMI and LCA tools

Daniele Cespi, Evan S. Beach, Thomas E. Swarr, Fabrizio Passarini, I. Vassura, Peter J. Dunn and Paul T. Anastas
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00424A

Conventional and microwave assisted hydrolysis of urban biowastes to added value lignin-like products
Daniele Rosso, Jiajun Fan, Enzo Montoneri, Michele Negre, James Clark and Davide Mainero
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00357A

Efficient Bromination of Olefins, Alkynes, and Ketones with Dimethyl Sulfoxide and Hydrobromic Acid

Song Song, Xinwei Li, Xiang Sun, Yizhi Yuan and Ning Jiao
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00528K

Nanoclusters of Cu (II) Supported on Nanocrystalline W (VI) Oxide: A Potential Catalyst for Single-Step Conversion of Cyclohexane to Adipic Acid
Shankha S. Acharyya, Shilpi Ghosh and Rajaram Bal
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00379B

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Recent HOT GC Articles

Check out the following HOT articles, these have all been made free to access for a limited time:

Recycling of rare earths from NdFeB magnets using a combined leaching/extraction system based on the acidity and thermomorphism of the ionic liquid [Hbet][Tf2N]
David Dupont and   Koen Binnemans
Green Chem., 2015,17, 2150-2163
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00155B

Upgrading biogenic furans: blended C10–C12 platform chemicals via lyase-catalyzed carboligations and formation of novel C12 – choline chloride-based deep-eutectic-solvents Upgrading biogenic furans: blended C10–C12 platform chemicals via lyase-catalyzed carboligations and formation of novel C12 – choline chloride-based deep-eutectic-solvents
Joseph Donnelly, Christoph R. Müller, Lotte Wiermans, Christopher J. Chuck and Pablo Domínguez de María
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00342C

From simple organobromides or olefins to highly value-added bromohydrins: a versatile performance of dimethyl sulfoxide
Song Song, Xiaoqiang Huang, Yu-Feng Liang, Conghui Tang, Xinwei Lia and Ning Jiao
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00184F

Extraction and separation of neodymium and dysprosium from used NdFeB magnets: an application of ionic liquids in solvent extraction towards the recycling of magnets
Sofía Riaño and Koen Binnemans
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00230C, Paper

Greening the global phosphorus cycle: how green chemistry can help achieve planetary P sustainability
Paul J. A. Withers, James J. Elser, Julian Hilton, Hisao Ohtake, Willem J. Schipper and Kimo C. van Dijk
Green Chem., 2015,17, 2087-2099
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC02445A, Perspective

Stimuli-responsive/rheoreversible hydraulic fracturing fluids as a greener alternative to support geothermal and fossil energy production Stimuli-responsive/rheoreversible hydraulic fracturing fluids as a greener alternative to support geothermal and fossil energy production
H. B. Jung, K. C. Carroll, S. Kabilan, D. J. Heldebrant, D. Hoyt, L. Zhong, T. Varga, S. Stephens, L. Adams, A. Bonneville, A. Kuprat and C. A. Fernandez
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC01917B, Paper

Fluorine gas for life science syntheses: green metrics to assess selective direct fluorination for the synthesis of 2-fluoromalonate esters
Antal Harsanyi and Graham Sandford
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00402K, Paper

Layered MoS2 nanoparticles on TiO2 nanotubes by a photocatalytic strategy for use as high-performance electrocatalysts in hydrogen evolution reactions
Chenhui Meng, Zhaoyue Liu, Tierui Zhang and Jin Zhai
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00272A, Communication

Ionic liquid-stabilized nanoparticles as catalysts for the conversion of biomass
K. L. Luska, P. Migowski and W. Leitner
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00231A, Critical Review


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Ionic liquid a perfect fit for rare earth recycling

Chemists in Belgium have shown how an intriguing ionic liquid they developed 10 years ago can recover valuable rare earth metals from stockpiles of used fluorescent lamps and magnets.

Rare earth metals are important in high tech applications, but China controls most of the world’s dwindling supply, periodically setting export quotas and driving up prices. They occur naturally elsewhere, but new production is time consuming and costly to establish.

Image of a lightbulb emerging from blue liquid
It is estimated that by 2020 stockpiled lamp phosphor waste will contain around 25,000 tons of rare earths

Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the  journal articles in Green Chemistry:

Rare-earth recycling using a functionalized ionic liquid for the selective dissolution and revalorization of Y2O3:Eu3+ from lamp phosphor waste
David Dupont and Koen Binnemans 
Journal Article
Green Chem., 2015,17, 856-868
DOI: 10.1039/C4GC02107J, Paper
Open Access

Recycling of rare earths from NdFeB magnets using a combined leaching/extraction system based on the acidity and thermomorphism of the ionic liquid [Hbet][Tf2N]
David Dupont and Koen Binnemans  
Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00155B, Paper
Free to access until 7 May 2015

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Absorption and recovery of precious metals from waste

Starbon metal absorptionThe metal contamination introduced into the environment by mine tailings is a strikingly visual concern. As global demand for precious metals increases, many reserves are now regarded as critical. Pollution could be reduced and the effect of demand on resources lessened if effective reclamation of metals from mine tailings could be performed.

In work conducted jointly by scientists in the UK and in Spain, a bio-based mesoporous carbon material has been found to selectively absorb gold and platinum group metals from acidic solutions containing a mixture of metal salts representative of wastes typical of mining operations. The absorbed metals go on to create nanoparticles in the carbonaceous material. The spontaneous formation of nanoparticles on renewable carbon supports has potential applications in catalysis, or the metal could be isolated for other uses.

TEM image showing absorbed metal as nanoparticles and the Starbon® monolith (inset)

Read the advanced article in Green Chemistry online now:

Starch-derived carbonaceous mesoporous materials (Starbon®) for the selective adsorption and recovery of critical metals

Andrea Muñoz García, Andrew J. Hunt,* Vitaliy L. Budarin, Helen L. Parker, Peter S. Shuttleworth, Gary J. Ellis and James. H. Clark

Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00154D

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Developments in the offshore seaweed feedstock bio-refinery model

Graphical abstract green chem algae biorefineryThe land use issues associated with biomass production points to marine biomass as a promising alternative. Seaweed is a rich resource, abundant in the world’s oceans. In addition to its potential for biofuel production, it is also important to obtain a stream of renewable chemicals from any seaweed bio-refinery to create an economically viable and sustainable process.

The present development, led by an Indian research team prominent in this field, creates a valuable side stream of chemical products to supplement the production of bio-ethanol from cellulose. Lipids, pigments and agar are all obtainable from the red algae feedstock by way of sequential extraction processes that improves the quality of the agar produced and significantly reduces the amount of auxiliary chemicals required compared to previous methods.

Read the advanced article in Green Chemistry online now:

R. S. Baghel, N. Trivedi, V. Gupta, A. Neori, C. R. K. Reddy, A. Lali and B. Jha

Green Chem., 2015, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/C4GC02532F

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Thin film approach to biocatalysis

This lipase is one of the most largely employed enzymes in industry © Valerio Ferrario

Taking an unconventional approach to biocatalysis has allowed scientists in Italy to improve enzyme recyclability with a solvent-free reaction mixture. And by emphasising a need to design processes, biocatalysts and reactors together, instead of separately, they hope to widen the industrial applications of nature’s catalysts.

Lucia Gardossi, from the University of Trieste in Italy, has been investigating solvent-free reaction mixtures, which appeal to industry because of their comparably small production volumes and lack of organic solvents to dispose of. Although their efficiency and selectivity are attractive, biocatalysed versions of industrial reactions are rarely economically viable. The typically viscous reaction mixtures require vigorous mixing, which damages the enzymes and limits their recyclability.

For the full story from Debbie, make sure to take a look at the page on Chemistry World!

This original research article is free to access unitl 11 March 2015. Download it here:

A Pellis et al, Green Chem., 2015, DOI: 10.1039/c4gc02289k

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