Greener chemistry

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Science  20 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5295, pp. 1983
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5295.1983c

Two reports focus on ways to minimize the use of environmentally burdensome solvents and reaction by-products (see the news story by Kaiser, p. 2012). Markó et al. (p. 2044) have synthesized a copper-based catalyst for the oxidation of a wide variety of alcohols by oxygen or even air, thus avoiding the use of metal oxides or hydrogen peroxides as the oxidant. McClain et al. (p. 2049) have developed nonionic surfactants that allow supercritical CO2 to be used as a solvent for organic polymers which will allow this replacement solvent to be used in processing applications that use waxes, heavy oils, and other high molecular weight organic molecules.

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