NNNS chemistry blog http://chem.vander-lingen.nl Chemistry blog : news - comments - basics in chemistry en-us 1440 The B40 anion http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The B40 anion/id/228/itemid/782 The same people that brought you the B30 anion just a month ago, now report the B40 anion. This time the popular science press jumped on the news because this anion is not just flat with an hexagonal hole in it (as was the B30 anion) but a cage-like molecule very much like fullerene. The researchers Monday 14 Jul 2014 18:47:06 Lacosamide total synth http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Lacosamide total synth/id/228/itemid/781 Lacosamide is a drug for the treatment of epilepsy. There is no shortage of interest in the production of this compound. The latest academic contribution originates from Sebastian Stecko as single author here. The selected raw material was ethyl lactate 1. Several steps down the road allyl alcohol 2 Friday 11 Jul 2014 23:25:29 An elusive liquid explosive http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/An elusive liquid explosive/id/228/itemid/780 Should we be really concerned about the new "invisible bomb" terrorist treat making the headlines this week? According to the Guardian here a Saudi chemist allied with both ISIS and al-Qaida (however unlikely that is) has the expertise to create invisible bombs and an ambition to target transatlant Friday 04 Jul 2014 21:03:08 New in Taxol http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/New in Taxol/id/228/itemid/779 Work on taxol total synthesis continues even after 20 years. The latest exploit as reported by Letort here concerns not a new total synthesis as only the core section is synthesised or a new method as the presented cascade metathesis method has been tried before. The novelty is that this time the st Monday 30 Jun 2014 21:18:18 A triply twisted Möbius annulene http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/A triply twisted Möbius annulene/id/227/itemid/778 There is Möbius aromaticity news. A new compound having such aromaticity has been reported as synthesised by Schaller et al. in Nature Chemistry (DOI). The challenge: the creation of a large pi-ring (as in a regular aromatic compound) but then with one or more twists in it. As in a Möbius ring. The Thursday 26 Jun 2014 21:06:14 Suzuki without metal http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Suzuki without metal/id/227/itemid/777 The Aggerwal group has recently described an alternative to the well-known Suzuki carbon - carbon coupling reaction that still utilises a boronic acid but does away with the platinum catalyst (Bonet et al. DOI). The novel method is applicable to aromatics such as furan, thiophene and electron-rich a Saturday 21 Jun 2014 22:33:46 The B30 anion http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The B30 anion/id/227/itemid/776 As highlighted here a B18 dianion was recently postulated (computation only) to have a rotating inner ring. A B30 anion reported here is also flat but has a hexagonal hole. Li et al. as described in Angewandte pointed a laser at a piece of isotopically enriched boron, collected the debris in a molec Tuesday 10 Jun 2014 21:39:12 Something blew up in Moerdijk again http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Something blew up in Moerdijk again/id/227/itemid/775 And another chemical explosion hit the Dutch town of Moerdijk this week, home to a considerable amount of chemical industry. This time the culprit was Shell with a facility located by coincidence in the same industrial park as the now infamous Chemie-Pack as reported about earlier. A series of explo Thursday 05 Jun 2014 15:32:54 Methane activation by Gallium http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Methane activation by Gallium/id/227/itemid/774 A previous episode highlighted the conversion of methane to ethylene via iron. Li et al. report here on the conversion of the same methane to benzene now catalysed by gallium. The lede explains that the odds are not in favour of this transition. The reaction 6CH<sub>4</sub> -> C<sub>6</sub>H<sub>6< Tuesday 03 Jun 2014 21:26:02 S-Ibuprofen purification by MagLev http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/S-Ibuprofen purification by MagLev/id/227/itemid/773 The Whitesides lab has earlier adopted a MagLev for peanut butter analyis here and now have moved on to enantiopurification as described here. Case at hand: the purification of crystalline S-ibuprofen by removing a 1.3% contamination of racemic crystals. Magnetic levitation takes place in a manganes Saturday 31 May 2014 21:48:16 Methane activation by iron http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Methane activation by iron/id/226/itemid/772 Natural gas (methane) is an important chemical feedstock. It can be converted into syngas via CH<sub>4</sub> + H<sub>2</sub>O -> CO + 3 H<sub>2</sub> and then into methanol via CO + 2H<sub>2</sub> -> MeOH. Translated, this route implies easy methane hydrolysis with one hydrogen equivalent as a bonu Sunday 25 May 2014 23:02:00 Fullerene with wings http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Fullerene with wings/id/226/itemid/771 Neti et al. explain here what happens if you react C70 fullerene with anthracene. The compounds were mixed and heated above the anthracene melting point at 240° for some time, resulting in a neat bis-Diels-Alder adduct (68% yield after column chromatography) with the anthracene units at opposite end Thursday 15 May 2014 21:31:09 The B18 dianion http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The B18 dianion/id/226/itemid/770 New in the chemical zoo, well at least computational: the B<sub>18</sub> dianion as reported by Moreno et al. here. This anion is predicted to have a pentagonal six-boron core surrounded by a bowl-shaped B<sub>12</sub> ring. The pentagon can move freely inside the ring as in a Wankel engine and the Tuesday 13 May 2014 22:16:10 A solvent for selenium http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/A solvent for selenium/id/226/itemid/769 As reported earlier Webber et al. have recently demonstrated that a mixture of a thiol and an amine can dissolve an impressive amount of tellurium. That was not all that there was to it. The same mixture also works for selenium. For example a 1:4 mixture by volume of ethanethiol and ethylenediamine Sunday 11 May 2014 21:19:29 The belt wars continue http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The belt wars continue/id/226/itemid/768 Two research groups have almost simultaneously reported the synthesis of 5-cycloparaphenylene (5CPP), the chemical compound with 5 phenylene groups joined together in a loop via 1,4-connnections and of some relevance because it also makes up the equatorial belt of fullerene. Team Evans, Darzi and Saturday 10 May 2014 20:34:30 The curse of the illegal drug labs http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The curse of the illegal drug labs/id/225/itemid/767 The Netherlands have a dubious reputation when it comes to illegal drug labs. The phenomenon is nothing new (30 labs have been dismantled this year alone) but the labs nevertheless made the news this week because the general increase in chemical waste dumping and the discovery of two dead lab worker Tuesday 29 Apr 2014 20:54:03 Oil-water separation by GO http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Oil-water separation by GO/id/225/itemid/766 Dong et al. report a novel way to separate oil and water using a wire mesh and graphene oxide (DOI). Graphene oxide (GO) is the reaction product of graphite and a strong oxidizing agent. Dong adopted a combination of sulfuric acid, sodium nitrate and hydrogen peroxide in water and noted that the res Friday 25 Apr 2014 20:52:22 Graphene by electrochemistry http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Graphene by electrochemistry/id/225/itemid/765 A next step in graphene mass-production has been reported by Parvez et al. in JACS (DOI). Experimental electrochemical set-up: one graphite flake as working electrode and one platinum bar as reference electrode in a solution of ammonium sulfate and with a 10 volt direct current. Within minutes the g Friday 25 Apr 2014 18:17:55 A solvent for tellurium http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/A solvent for tellurium/id/225/itemid/764 Webber et al. report a new method for the synthesis of tin telluride, a compound of some relevance as semiconductor (DOI). The avenue towards the new method was opened by the development of a new solvent system for elemental tellurium. The researchers note that tellurium has a poor solubility record Friday 18 Apr 2014 20:57:44 The on-solvent reaction http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The on-solvent reaction/id/225/itemid/763 Never expected to one day see mercury listed as an organic solvent but it has happened. Here is how. Sela and Vigalok have been investigating the on water reaction and are reporting about it here. In this type of reaction, water is added to an ordinary organic reaction forming an emulsion and ther Friday 04 Apr 2014 21:20:13