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September Chementator briefs

By Chemical Engineering |

Pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals often incorporate a fluorine atom within their molecular structure to improve properties, such as keeping the body from metabolizing a drug too rapidly. However, adding a fluorine to an aromatic ring at a late stage of the synthesis can be difficult and expensive due to the harsh conditions needed by traditional methods. Now, chemists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge; www.mit.edu) have devised a new way to add a fluorine atom to an aromatic compound with a single catalytic step. In the reaction, a palladium catalyst is used to exchange a triflate group (CF3SO3) with a fluoride ion, which is taken from a salt such as CeF. More efficient smelting The energy efficiency at two record-breaking aluminum smelters in the Middle East has been increased by 18%, thanks to ABBs (Zurich, Switzerland; www.abb.com) new rectiformers — the high-power components that control and convert alternating current from the grid to direct current needed to power the electrolytic process and produce molten Al in pots. The rectiformers were developed for the Sohar Al smelter in Sultanate of Oman, which consists of 360 pots and produces up to 360,000 ton/yr of Al — the worlds largest potline…
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