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Nitrogen reduction

Molybdenum does it again

Nature reduces dinitrogen under mild conditions using nitrogenases, the most active of which contains molybdenum and iron. The only abiological dinitrogen reduction catalyst that avoids the harsh conditions of the Haber–Bosch process contains just molybdenum.

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Figure 1: Dinitrogen is reduced catalytically, by employing lutidinium triflate as the proton source and cobaltocene as the electron source, in toluene at room temperature.


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Schrock, R. Molybdenum does it again. Nature Chem 3, 95–96 (2011).

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