NNNS chemistry blog http://chem.vander-lingen.nl Chemistry blog : news - comments - basics in chemistry en-us 1440 Graphene Origami http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Graphene Origami /id/244/itemid/835 A new contestant in our continuous coverage of self-propelling, swimming or walking chemical entities, be it at the molecular level or the macroscopic. At long as it MOVES. See previous episode here. This week Jiuke Mu et al. treat us to graphene origami! (DOI). <br /><br /> Through a masking tec Saturday 07 Nov 2015 21:56:00 Lithium to air battery redesign http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Lithium to air battery redesign/id/244/itemid/834 In the news this week: a new development in battery design that allows you to drive from London to Edinburgh on a single car battery (DOI), at least according to several news outlets (BBC,FT, The Independent). Now, in The Netherlands we have a lot of electrical hybrid cars but only for tax evasion p Tuesday 03 Nov 2015 19:14:05 Science budget breakdown http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Science budget breakdown/id/243/itemid/833 The newspaper NRC has the scoop: what amount of money is spent on scientific research in The Netherlands and as a public translation service here are the numbers. The total expenses for higher education have increased from just under 2 billion Euro in 1990 to just over 3 billion in 2015 given a popu Friday 30 Oct 2015 18:50:36 Ancient chemical laboratories http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Ancient chemical laboratories/id/243/itemid/832 Last week the remains of a chemical laboratory were discovered in a University of Virginia building (link). The Rotunda as it is called was designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1822 and prominently visible in the lab is a chemical hearth. Certainly the oldest lab in existence in the USA but how about the Saturday 17 Oct 2015 21:16:46 Urea in your Diesel http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Urea in your Diesel/id/242/itemid/831 Do Volkswagens have secret urea compartments? The car company has been found cheating at NOx emission tests in the USA which makes their cars (diesels more specifically) look much more environmentally friendly than they really are. But what does the "defeat device" look like? In many reports it is j Tuesday 22 Sep 2015 18:45:29 The microscrubbers http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The microscrubbers/id/242/itemid/830 In our continuing coverage of Things-That-Move (Making-It-Move) see previous episode, we have a first contestant with an actual usability claim! Carbon dioxide sequestration no-less. In a recent Angewandte Uygun et al. (DOI) describe so-called microscrubbers that in the near-future should patrol the Saturday 12 Sep 2015 00:04:27 Increasing decreasing complexity we are not sure http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Increasing decreasing complexity we are not sure/id/242/itemid/829 Li and Eastgate in Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry introduce a complexity index for molecules and for synthetic schemes (DOI). Nothing fancy to do with computer algorithms or graph theory but simply inviting a troupe of experienced chemists in the flesh to rank molecules or reactions by complex Friday 11 Sep 2015 22:44:00 Amine basicity and ionic liquids http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Amine basicity and ionic liquids/id/242/itemid/828 Mao et al. in a recent JOC (DOI) took it on themselves to measure the basicity of 21 amines in an ionic liquid. The basicity range of amines in water or acetonitrile is well established. But what about IL's? The Mao crew think highly of themselves: '<i>The standard deviation was much superior to tha Friday 11 Sep 2015 18:58:30 Carbon dioxide plus methane http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Carbon dioxide plus methane/id/241/itemid/827 News from the field of carbon dioxide reforming, the experimental process of taking carbon dioxide and methane directly to syngas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen). Methane is already used commercially in syngas production via steam reforming so a modification would get rid of a lot of greenhouse gas c Saturday 22 Aug 2015 23:32:55 Cellulose to glucose http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Cellulose to glucose/id/241/itemid/826 Anh The To et al. of the Alexander Katz group at Berkeley report on a faster way to hydrolyze crystalline cellulose to glucose. (DOI) This process is of interest to biofuels and the synthesis of chemicals from biological sources. Synthetic catalysts have an efficiency of 20% and for carbon catalys Monday 17 Aug 2015 21:30:17 Tianjin chemistry http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Tianjin chemistry/id/241/itemid/825 The death toll of the 2015 Tianjin explosions currently stands over a hundred. As expected the media debate the cause. Everyone agrees the following chemicals were present in the explosive mix: calcium carbide, potassium nitrate and sodium cyanide (BBC News, Der Spiegel). A dozen Youtube clips demon Saturday 15 Aug 2015 22:06:51 Target aryne http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Target aryne/id/241/itemid/824 Arynes are well established reactive intermediates in organic chemistry but if you are one of those people who believe something only when they see something you had to wait until 2015 when Avlivek et al. actually took an (AFM) image of one of them as reported in Nature Chemistry (DOI). A specif Friday 14 Aug 2015 18:21:55 Synthetic pepsin http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Synthetic pepsin/id/240/itemid/823 The one reaction missing on the amide Wikipedia page: amide hydrolysis. Better leave that one to nature's proteases. Their grandpa (called pepsin) was discovered as early as 1836. The amide bond is simple too strong (resonance stabilised) and will resist any nucleophile. Good to know then that in on Friday 24 Jul 2015 21:20:08 Au9 cluster snapped http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Au9 cluster snapped/id/240/itemid/822 The image on display in this week's image of the month (new item) is brought to you by Bosch-Navarro and Rourke both from the University of Warwick. (DOI) What you see is a very organised gathering of 9 gold atoms on a carbon surface. And not by coincidence. For this TEM image to happen graphen Monday 13 Jul 2015 21:47:09 Next move in Dutch Elsevier boycott http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Next move in Dutch Elsevier boycott /id/240/itemid/821 As reported earlier here in the beginning of the year, the Dutch universities have started a war on publisher Elsevier demanding a better deal for their journal subscription preferably open-access. This war has now entered stage two: all university personnel is kindly requested to abandon their seco Saturday 04 Jul 2015 22:09:40 MS chiral awareness http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/MS chiral awareness/id/239/itemid/820 The separation of enantiomeric mixtures is a big thing in analytical chemistry. Gas chromatography and liquid chromatography both know how to play the chiral game on a routine basis but mass spectroscopy thus far has been "chirally blind". A group of VU Amsterdam researchers have brought chirally aw Thursday 25 Jun 2015 20:28:55 The new thermite reaction http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/The new thermite reaction/id/239/itemid/819 It is time to fool around with chemicals. The Journal of Chemical Education regularly publishes about igniting stuff, a long tradition dating back to 1930. In a recent issue McGuire et al have another look at the thermite reaction (DOI) of iron oxide and aluminium. The hazards section reads: "an out Saturday 20 Jun 2015 20:20:23 Sanofi artemisinin update http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Sanofi artemisinin update/id/239/itemid/818 The people at Sanofi continue to tinker away at their industrial production of artemisinin. As described in a previous blog episode here the starting compound artemisinic acid (produced from glucose) was converted to artemisinin in subsequently a hydrogenation, an esterification and an Schenk-ene st Wednesday 17 Jun 2015 22:39:38 Replaced by computational overlords not just yet http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Replaced by computational overlords not just yet/id/239/itemid/817 This must be the most damning quote of 2015 in chemistry land: "Computational predictions vary vastly, and it is not clear that any significant accurate information that was not already apparent from experiment could have been garnered from computations". The authors are Erik Plata and Dan Singleton Saturday 13 Jun 2015 18:58:12 Olefin hydroamination latest http://chem.vander-lingen.nl/articles/Olefin hydroamination latest/id/238/itemid/816 Latest from the Baran laboratory: Olefin hydroamination. (Gui et al. DOI) Key ingredients: an alkene and a nitro arene together with triphenylsilane (2 eq.), ferric acetylacetonate (30 mole%), zinc, HCl and ethanol. The product: the alkylated amine. Product optimisation and substrate scope are all Friday 22 May 2015 22:42:18