Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Lanthanide triflates

nitroglycol - 26-10-2007 at 18:13

This sounds very promising:
Lanthanide triflates are one of the most promising green chemistry catalysts. Unlike most conventional catalysts, these compounds are stable in water, so avoid the need for organic solvents, and can be recovered for reuse. Since leading researcher Kobayashi’s 1991 paper on their catalytic effect in water, the range of researched applications for La(OTf)3 catalysts has exploded. The commercialisation of these techniques has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the chemical industries.

Now I ran a trial search for ytterbium (III) triflate on Sigma-Aldrich, and it's $C67.30 for a gram. I wonder what the prospects are of this changing in the near future? Besides the environmental benefits, it would be a lot easier and probably safer to use in the lab- for instance, being able to do a Friedel-Crafts acylation with the actual acid in water, rather than the acyl chloride in a nastier solvent, would be a huge benefit in itself.

[Edited on 26/10/2007 by nitroglycol]

chemkid - 26-10-2007 at 18:28

Thats not suprising from a company that sells 500g of sodium bicarbonate for 20 dollars.


chemrox - 26-10-2007 at 20:55

maybe you get the estate of Armand Hammer interested in the stuff. Couldn't resist. This is the kind of thing Sauron would know a lot about. Send him a u2u. I looked at the Wiki article too. I like the intermediate, triflic acid and the synthesis is written out for you. Rember the movie, "Performance?" There was a scene where some sort of acid instantly burned off a car's paint job. Maybe it was supposed to be one of the "super acids" that I didn't know about at the time. Anyway the lanthanide triflates are probably worth looking into for some fuel related work I'm spending some time on so thanks.

nitroglycol - 27-10-2007 at 19:24

I wonder if it would allow F-C acylations that otherwise couldn't be done? For instance, could you alkylate a ring with glycine? If so, this would be very useful (since I don't think you can readily make the acyl chloride of glycine- wouldn't it polymerize spontaneously?) These catalysts are reportedly also good for stuff like Diels-Alder like reactions.

[Edited on 27/10/2007 by nitroglycol]