New catalysis technique could make solvents redundant
The EU-funded Mechanocat project plans to study a new mechanochemical technique for conducting catalytic reactions in ball mills. The catalyst will be the milling ball itself – it will neither be dissolved (as in homogeneous catalysis), nor will it be a powder or bed of shaped bodies (as in heterogeneous catalysis). The milling balls will be refreshing their catalytically active surface constantly when colliding with other milling balls. Researchers are keen on figuring out how solid reactants can be brought into reactions in the absence of solvents. The proposed solid-state approach is fundamentally different from the conventional solution-based processes, opening up the opportunity for catalysing new reactions.
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