Green chemistry

Researchers Phil Baran (left) and Evan Horn pose in front on an electric car, showcasing how the principals of sustainable transportation pertain to sustainable chemistry in the new allylic oxidation reaction.
Image: The Scripps Research Institute

Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a new technique that has the potential to boost a traditional chemical reaction, opening doors for new developments in pharmaceuticals and other industries.

The researchers developed an easier, cheaper, and greener way to preform allylic oxidation – a process that typically employs toxic or expensive reagents and has previously been difficult, if not impossible, to implement on a large scale. By using the power of old-fashioned electrochemistry, the TSRI researchers discovered a way to make the process scalable through the use of safe chemicals.

(READ: “Scalable and sustainable electrochemical allylic C-H oxidation“)

“Turns out one of the best reagents you can buy is sitting in your wall socket,” said principal investigator Phil Baran. “The scope of the reaction is just phenomenal. It’s super easy to do, and the overall improvement in environmental sustainability is dramatic.”