Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Hydrogenation


We report a facile and green method to synthesize a new type of catalyst by coating Pd nanoparticles (NPs) on reduced graphene oxide (rGO)-carbon nanotube (CNT) nanocomposite. An rGO-CNT nanocomposite with three-dimensional microstructures was obtained by hydrothermal treatment of an aqueous dispersion of graphene oxide (GO) and CNTs. After the rGO-CNT composites have been dipped in K2PdCl4 solution, the spontaneous redox reaction between the GO-CNT and PdCl4(2-) led to the formation of nanohybrid materials consisting rGO-CNT decorated with 4 nm Pd NPs, which exhibited excellent and stable catalytic activity: the reduction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol using NaBH4 as a catalyst was completed in only 20 s at room temperature, even when the Pd content of the catalyst was 1.12 wt%. This method does not require rigorous conditions or toxic agents and thus is a rapid, efficient, and green approach to the fabrication of highly active catalysts.

Concepts: Enzyme, Chemical reaction, Hydrogen, Electrochemistry, Catalysis, Hydrogenation, Catalytic converter, Nitrogen


Coordinatively unsaturated (CUS) iron sites are highly active in catalytic oxidation reactions; however, maintaining the CUS structure of iron during heterogeneous catalytic reactions is a great challenge. Here, we report a strategy to stabilize single-atom CUS iron sites by embedding highly dispersed FeN4 centers in the graphene matrix. The atomic structure of FeN4 centers in graphene was revealed for the first time by combining high-resolution transmission electron microscopy/high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy with low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy. These confined single-atom iron sites exhibit high performance in the direct catalytic oxidation of benzene to phenol at room temperature, with a conversion of 23.4% and a yield of 18.7%, and can even proceed efficiently at 0°C with a phenol yield of 8.3% after 24 hours. Both experimental measurements and density functional theory calculations indicate that the formation of the Fe═O intermediate structure is a key step to promoting the conversion of benzene to phenol. These findings could pave the way toward highly efficient nonprecious catalysts for low-temperature oxidation reactions in heterogeneous catalysis and electrocatalysis.

Concepts: Electron, Electron microscope, Chemical reaction, Hydrogen, Catalysis, Hydrogenation, Density functional theory, Scanning tunneling microscope


One approach to improve the oxidative stability of biodiesel is the partial hydrogenation of carbon-carbon double bonds. In the current work, an efficient catalytic system using Pd(OAc)2 dissolved in polyethylene glycol (PEG) which in situ generates palladium nanoparticles was developed in order to promote a selective partial hydrogenation reaction of sunflower oil FAMEs into mono-hydrogenated products avoiding the formation of saturated compounds or trans-isomers. High content of methyl oleate (85.0±1.4%) was obtained by hydrogenation of sunflower oil biodiesel with only 7.0±0.2% stearic acid. Through evaluating the palladium nanoparticles by TEM analysis, it is observed that 4 nm palladium nanoparticles generated in situ in PEG4000 are highly selective for the partial hydrogenation of sunflower oil biodiesel. And the Pd-PEG4000 catalyst can be resued for five times without obvious loss of activity or methyl oleate selectivity.

Concepts: Fatty acid, Enzyme, Hydrogen, Catalysis, Hydrogenation, Catalytic converter, Nitrogen, Oleic acid


Synthetic control over chirality and function is the crowning achievement for metal-organic frameworks, but the same level of control has not been achieved for covalent organic frameworks (COFs). Here we demonstrate chiral COFs (CCOFs) can be crystallized from achiral organic precursors by chiral catalytic induction. A total of nine two-dimensional CCOFs are solvothermally prepared by imine condensations of the C3-symmetric 1,3,5-triformylphloroglucinol (Tp) with diamine or triamine linkers in the presence of catalytic amount of ®- or (S)-1-phenylethylamine. Homochirality of these CCOFs results from chiral catalyst-induced immobilization of threefold-symmetric tris(N-salicylideneamine) cores with a propeller-like conformation of one single handedness during crystallization. The CCOF-TpTab showed high enantioselectivity toward chiral carbohydrates in fluorescence quenching and, after postsynthetic modification of enaminone groups located in chiral channels with Cu(II) ions, it can also be utilized as a heterogeneous catalyst for the asymmetric Henry reaction of nitroalkane with aldehydes.

Concepts: Amino acid, Catalysis, Stereochemistry, Hydrogenation, Enantiomer, Chirality


Generally, a homogeneous catalyst exhibits good activity and defined active sites but it is difficult to recycle. Meanwhile, a heterogeneous catalyst can easily be reused but its active site is difficult to reveal. It is interesting to bridge the gap between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis via controllable construction of a heterogeneous catalyst containing defined active sites. Here, we report that a molecularly defined, single-active site heterogeneous catalyst has been designed and prepared via the oxidative polymerization of maleimide derivatives. These polymaleimide derivatives can be active catalysts for the selective oxidation of heterocyclic compounds to quinoline and indole via the recycling of -C=O and -C-OH groups, which was confirmed by tracing the reaction with GC-MS using maleimide as the catalyst and by FT-IR analysis with polymaleimide as the catalyst. These results might promote the development of heterogeneous catalysts with molecularly defined single active sites exhibiting a comparable activity to homogeneous catalysts.

Concepts: Enzyme, Hydrogen, Electrochemistry, Catalysis, Heterogeneous catalysis, Hydrogenation, Nitrogen, Enzyme catalysis


To determine health and equity benefits and cost effectiveness of policies to reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids from processed foods, compared with consumption remaining at most recent levels in England.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acids, Heart disease, Hydrogenation, Butter, Saturated fat, Unsaturated fat


Sensing reaction mechanism is crucial for enhancing the sensing performance of semiconductor-based sensing materials. Here we show a new strategy to enhancing sensing performance of SnO2 nanocrystals by increasing the density of unsaturated Sn atoms with dangling bonds at the SnO2 surface through hydrogenation. A concept of the surface unsaturated Sn atoms serving as active sites for the sensing reaction is proposed, and the sensing mechanism is described in detail at atomic and molecule level for the first time. Sensing properties of other metal oxide sensors and catalytic activity of other catalysts may be improved by using the hydrogenation strategy. The concept of the surface unsaturated metal atoms serving as active sites may be very useful for understanding the sensing and catalytic reaction mechanisms and designing advanced sensing sensors, catalysts and photoelectronic devices.

Concepts: Oxygen, Hydrogen, Catalysis, Chemistry, Hydrogenation, Nitrogen, Solid, Chemical kinetics


We sought to assess the relation of dietary trans fatty acid (dTFA) consumption to word-memory.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Hydrogenation, Butter, Lipid, Saturated fat, Unsaturated fat, Lard


Interest in hydrogen fuel is growing for automotive applications; however, safe, dense, solid-state hydrogen storage remains a formidable scientific challenge. Metal hydrides offer ample storage capacity and do not require cryogens or exceedingly high pressures for operation. However, hydrides have largely been abandoned because of oxidative instability and sluggish kinetics. We report a new, environmentally stable hydrogen storage material constructed of Mg nanocrystals encapsulated by atomically thin and gas-selective reduced graphene oxide (rGO) sheets. This material, protected from oxygen and moisture by the rGO layers, exhibits exceptionally dense hydrogen storage (6.5 wt% and 0.105 kg H2 per litre in the total composite). As rGO is atomically thin, this approach minimizes inactive mass in the composite, while also providing a kinetic enhancement to hydrogen sorption performance. These multilaminates of rGO-Mg are able to deliver exceptionally dense hydrogen storage and provide a material platform for harnessing the attributes of sensitive nanomaterials in demanding environments.

Concepts: Hydrogen, Hydrogenation, Carbon, Nanomaterials, Ion, Hydrogen economy, Hydride, Hydrogen storage


Amides are ubiquitous and abundant in nature and our society, but are very stable and reluctant to salt-free, catalytic chemical transformations. Through the activation of a “sterically confined bipyridine-ruthenium (Ru) framework (molecularly well-designed site to confine adsorbed H2 in)” of a precatalyst, catalytic hydrogenation of formamides through polyamide is achieved under a wide range of reaction conditions. Both C=O bond and C-N bond cleavage of a lactam became also possible using a single precatalyst. That is, catalyst diversity is induced by activation and stepwise multiple hydrogenation of a single precatalyst when the conditions are varied. The versatile catalysts have different structures and different resting states for multifaceted amide hydrogenation, but the common structure produced upon reaction with H2, which catalyzes hydrogenation, seems to be “H-Ru-N-H.”

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Hydrogen, Catalysis, Hydrogenation, Ribozyme, Nitrogen, Adsorption