Nanotubes to support chemistry

2002/03/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

The chemists at the University of Utrecht have developed a new catalytic support for use in fine chemistry.

As a result of research, it is believed that carbon nano-fibres will replace active carbon as a support for catalysis. Carbon nanofibers are small graphite tubes that form a sponge structure with a large internal surface. In the best option, a gram of graphite tube can reach an area of 200 m2. For good catalysis it is important to have a large surface to place the catalyst, usually the metal.

Researcher Tijmen Ros catalyzed cyclohexane hydrogenation by using rhodium, a normal catalysis process. The catalysis performed on the new support was so good that hydrogen substitution was the temporary limiter of the hydrogenization process, not the catalysis itself.

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