Earth-abundant metal compounds in biological systems provide molecules of high purity and excellent selectivity in quantitative yield, without generating toxic waste. Adopting this to chemists‘ syntheses will save cost and time in industrial chemistry and in the sustainable production of chemicals. A number of examples illustrate this potential.
The field of green chemistry has set out the means by which sustainability of chemical synthesis can be improved. The 12 principles of Green Chemistry developed by Anastas and Warner provide good guidelines for the general features needed in sustainable chemical processes, including safe and largely available reagents, management of waste, reduced energy use, and improved atom-economy of syntheses.1)
Diverse areas of chemistry require consideration of all aspects to achieve sustainability. Eighty-five to ninety percent of industrial chemical processes involve at least one catalytic step to produce pharmaceuticals, fuels, and advanced materials. Therefore, sustainable catalysis is one of the most important mainstays on the road to green chemistry.
Among catalytic systems, reaction with 4d and 5d metals (such
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