CHEMISTRY: A Bone-Supported Catalyst

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Science  28 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5479, pp. 509e-511e
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5479.509e

Although alcohol oxidations are among the most versatile of synthetic reactions, traditionally the reagents that perform these reactions have been stoichiometric rather than catalytic, and often produce environmental waste. Recently, homogenous transition metal catalysts for oxidizing alcohols have been reported (ten Brink et al., Reports, 3 March, p. 1636); these minimize production of waste products.

Yamaguchi et al. have developed a heterogenous catalyst for partially oxidizing alcohols to the corresponding carbonyl compounds by taking a familiar transition metal—ruthenium—and placing it on an unusual support—hydroxyapatite, the main component of bone. Replacement of the Ca2+ ions with Ru3+ produced a monomeric active species, as determined by analysis of x-ray adsorption fine structure. The catalyst gave high yields (often greater than 90%) for a wide variety of alcohols, and no leaching of the Ru species was observed, which allows the catalyst to be reused many times. — PDS

J. Am. Chem. Soc., in press.

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