Green chemistry

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Deep eutectic solvents (DES) are intriguing green reaction media for biomass processing, however, undesired lignin condensation is a typical drawback. Here the authors develop a tunable ternary DES system that allows for stabilization of reactive intermediates for efficient lignocellulose fractionation.

    • Yongzhuang Liu
    • , Noemi Deak
    •  & Katalin Barta
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Selective cleavage of C-C bonds is very important in organic chemistry, but remains challenging because of their inert chemical nature. Here, the authors report that Zn2+ coordinated with N species on N-doped carbon catalysts can catalyze the aerobic oxidative cleavage and esterification of C(CO)-C bonds with high efficiency and activity.

    • Chao Xie
    • , Longfei Lin
    •  & Buxing Han
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Single-atom Rh catalysts present superior activity in olefins hydroformylation, yet with limited success in regioselectivity control. Here the authors develop a Rh1 single-atom catalyst with nanodiamond as support, with which good to excellent regioselectivities to branched aldehydes in hydroformylation of terminal olefins are achieved.

    • Peng Gao
    • , Guanfeng Liang
    •  & Fen-Er Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Efficient production of benzene from lignin is attractive and of great importance, but has not been realized. Here, the authors develop a strategy to transform lignin into benzene over a RuW/zeolite catalyst in water, and the yield of benzene can be as high as 18.8% on lignin weight basis.

    • Qinglei Meng
    • , Jiang Yan
    •  & Buxing Han
  • Article
    | Open Access

    For printed electronics to realize its potential as a sustainable ubiquitous technology, eco-friendly solvents that deliver excellent ink performance must be found. Here, the authors report a free online tool that identifies functional green solvents for solution-processed printed electronics.

    • Christian Larsen
    • , Petter Lundberg
    •  & Ludvig Edman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Compounds bearing a carbonyl group, such as aldehydes and ketones, are important industrial chemicals and widespread in pharmaceuticals and natural products. Here, the authors report a strategy for visible-light photoredox-catalyzed umpolung carboxylation of diverse carbonyl compounds with CO2, to generate valuable α-hydroxycarboxylic acids.

    • Guang-Mei Cao
    • , Xin-Long Hu
    •  & Da-Gang Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The efficiency of chemical reactions in biological systems is often connected to the properties of confined water, but the developments and applications of artificial mimicking systems are impeded by the complexity of the biological systems. Here, the authors show how surface bound water in nanoporous cellulosic fibers can increase the reaction rate of surface acetylation reactions and enable regioselectivity of the reaction

    • Marco Beaumont
    • , Paul Jusner
    •  & Thomas Rosenau
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The scale-up of the coupling of water electroreduction (HER) with organic electrooxidation remains challenging. Here the authors address this challenge by coupling HER with electrooxidation of raw biomass chitin, cogenerating acetate and green hydrogen safely at high current density.

    • Hu Zhao
    • , Dan Lu
    •  & Hong Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To date we have a myriad of luminogenes at our deposal but many of them face problems like weakened emission in the aggregated state as well as poor sustainability. Here, the authors develop a class of rosin-derived luminogens with aggregation induced emission properties providing good biocompatibility and demonstrate their application in organelle imaging.

    • Xu-Min Cai
    • , Yuting Lin
    •  & Ben Zhong Tang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The solar-driven H2 production from water by particulate photocatalysts is an effective approach to produce H2 fuel. Here, the authors propose an integrated photothermal–photocatalytic biphase system, which lowers the reaction barrier and the delivery resistance of the H2, boosting the catalytic H2 evolution rate.

    • Shaohui Guo
    • , Xuanhua Li
    •  & Bingqing Wei
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Organocatalytic atom transfer radical polymerization (O-ATRP) is attractive due to its metal-free nature but catalysts are rarely applied at a low loading. Here the authors introduce a catalyst design logic based on heteroatom-doping of polycyclic arenes, which led to the discovery of oxygen-doped anthanthrene as an organic photoredox catalysts for O-ATRP.

    • Qiang Ma
    • , Jinshuai Song
    •  & Saihu Liao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Basic ionic liquids provide a buffering effect that enables the efficient synthesis of free formic acid from CO2 hydrogenation. Here, a highly efficient catalytic system that transforms CO2 to formic acid without the need of strong bases is demonstrated, avoiding the formation of formate salts.

    • Andreas Weilhard
    • , Stephen P. Argent
    •  & Victor Sans
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Alcohols are more naturally abundant than carbonyl compounds, which in turn are well known for their reactivity in Grignard reactions. Here, the authors showcase a distinct Grignard-like reactivity by using alcohols as coupling partners with hydrazones and synthesize more complex alcohols under ruthenium catalysis.

    • Chen-Chen Li
    • , Haining Wang
    •  & Chao-Jun Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The development of techniques capable of orchestrating the assembly of living cells into multicellular ensembles with synergistic and function is challenge. Here, the authors construct algal or algal/bacterial cells-based core shell-like structure based on aqueous two-phase system for synergic photosynthetic H2 production.

    • Zhijun Xu
    • , Shengliang Wang
    •  & Stephen Mann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Chiral 1,2-diamines are useful chemicals used as ligands in asymmetric catalysis. Here, the authors report a copper(I)-catalyzed asymmetric α-addition of ketimines derived from trifluoroacetophenone and 2- or 4-NO2-benzylamines to aldimines, affording a series of chiral anti-1,2-diamine derivatives.

    • Xu-Cheng Gan
    • , Cheng-Yuan Zhang
    •  & Liang Yin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nitriles are key intermediates in production of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and organic materials. Here, the authors report a nickel-catalyzed reductive cyanation of organic chlorides with CO2/NH3 and urea as cyanation reagents to afford a broad range of organic nitriles.

    • Yanan Dong
    • , Peiju Yang
    •  & Yuehui Li
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Transparent wood composites are promising engineered materials for green energy-efficient building. Here, authors demonstrate novel aesthetic wood with integrated functions of optical transparency, UV-blocking, thermal insulation, and mechanical strength for this sustainable application.

    • Ruiyu Mi
    • , Chaoji Chen
    •  & Liangbing Hu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Chiral and hindered triazolopyridinone derivatives are an underexplored area of chemical space mainly due to their challenging synthesis via classical methods. Here, the authors report an electrochemical rearrangement for the synthesis of triazolopyridinones using diverse, available alkyl carboxylic acids as starting materials.

    • Zenghui Ye
    • , Yanqi Wu
    •  & Fengzhi Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Catalytic reductive coupling of two electrophiles and one C = C bond is usually performed by two electron transfer metal catalysis. Herein, the authors show a visible light photoredox-catalyzed successive single electron transfer leading to dearomative arylcarboxylation of indoles with CO2 and generating indoline-3-carboxylic acids.

    • Wen-Jun Zhou
    • , Zhe-Hao Wang
    •  & Da-Gang Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Zeolite Cu(I)Y is attractive for adsorptive removal of sulfur compounds from fuel, however practical application is limited by instability of Cu(I). Here the authors use a coating to achieve superhydrophobicity in the zeolite, leading to improved Cu(I) stability against oxidation and thiophene removal.

    • Yu-Xia Li
    • , Jia-Xin Shen
    •  & Lin-Bing Sun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dehydrogenative alkenylation of C-H bonds is an atom-economical approach to prepare more complex olefins. Here, the authors use a combination of decatungstate and a cobaloxime catalyst for the photocatalytic dehydrogenative alkenylation of alkanes and aliphatic aldehydes with aryl alkenes.

    • Hui Cao
    • , Yulong Kuang
    •  & Jie Wu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Methanol and syngas are important fuels and chemicals, which are presently produced from fossil resources. Here, the authors report the conversion of biomass-derived polyols and sugars into methanol and syngas via UV light irradiation under room temperature.

    • Min Wang
    • , Meijiang Liu
    •  & Feng Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The hydrogenation of CO2 into valuable chemicals is greatly demanded, but suffers from complex product distribution. Here, the authors reported that, as a support and ligand, silica boosts cobalt catalysts to selectively hydrogenate CO2 into the desired methanol product.

    • Lingxiang Wang
    • , Erjia Guan
    •  & Feng-Shou Xiao
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here the authors deploy Ni single atom-decorated carbon membranes as integrated gas diffusion electrodes to construct an extremely stable three-phase interface for CO2 electroreduction, producing CO with a partial current density of 308.4 mA cm–2 and a Faradaic efficiency of 88% for up to 120 h.

    • Hengpan Yang
    • , Qing Lin
    •  & Chuanxin He
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Renewable biomass conversion may afford high-value products from common materials, but catalysts usually require expensive metals and exhibit poor selectivities. Here, authors employ nickel-iron oxide and nitride electrocatalysts to produce H2 and to convert glucose to glucaric acid selectively.

    • Wu-Jun Liu
    • , Zhuoran Xu
    •  & Han-Qing Yu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cycloalkenes are bulk petrochemicals that are currently obtained from fossil fuels. Here, the authors developed multi enzyme pathways in combination with a Ru-catalyzed metathesis reaction for the one-pot production of cyclopentene, cyclohexene, and cycloheptene from olive oil-derived intermediates.

    • Shuke Wu
    • , Yi Zhou
    •  & Thomas R. Ward
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Indole oxidation represents a fundamental organic transformation delivering valuable nitrogen compounds. Here, the authors report a general halide catalysis protocol applied to three classes of oxidation reactions of indoles with oxone as a sustainable terminal oxidant.

    • Jun Xu
    • , Lixin Liang
    •  & Rongbiao Tong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Triacylglycerides are naturally abundant and renewable feedstock, but their chemical transformation is hindered by their stability. Here, under Lewis acid catalysis, the authors report the selective alkyl C–O bond conversion of triglycerides into C–N bonds and even apply this efficient method to PET depolymerization.

    • Hua Liu
    • , Yi-Ling Zhu
    •  & Zhi Li
  • Review Article
    | Open Access

    While natural gas and fossil fuels power human activities, increasing concerns over fuel reserves and environmental impacts require finding alternative, renewable resources. Here, authors review the fundamental science and progress on solar-powered conversion of carbon dioxide to methane.

    • Ulrich Ulmer
    • , Thomas Dingle
    •  & Geoffrey A. Ozin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bridging homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis is a long-term pursuit in the field of catalysis. Here, the authors present results on integration of nano- and molecular catalysis via catalytic synthesis of nitrogen doped carbon layers on AlOx supported nano-Cu which can finely tune the catalytic performance of the supported copper catalyst.

    • Yajuan Wu
    • , Tao Wang
    •  & Feng Shi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Super engineering plastics that utilise bio-derived cyclic monomers rarely offer the same thermal/mechanical properties, scalability and recyclability as petrochemical derived plastics. Here the authors use a phase transfer catalyst to synthesise a transparent, recyclable and tough isosorbide-based polymer with a high molecular weight.

    • Seul-A Park
    • , Hyeonyeol Jeon
    •  & Dongyeop X. Oh
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Exploiting the organic adsorbate-metal oxide interaction to optimize the catalytic properties of metal oxides has been rarely explored. Here, the authors use enolic acetylacetones to modify the surface Lewis acid properties of manganese oxide, enabling a rational control of the oxidation selectivity of structurally diverse arylmethyl amines.

    • Xiuquan Jia
    • , Jiping Ma
    •  & Jie Xu