The best way for industrial manufacturers to deal with frequently toxic chemical waste is to avoid producing it. That’s the idea behind a new process with the potential to enable some types of complex molecules — present in such things as certain drugs and perfumes — to be formed without generating byproducts that might otherwise flow into wastewater or drift up smokestacks. The technique was developed by University of Texas scientist Michael J. Krische, with backing from government grants and various pharmaceutical industry players. The process triggers bonds between carbon atoms using a twist on what is known as catalytic hydrogenation, a standard chemical reaction in industrial settings typically deployed to bond carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms. “You get carbon-carbon bond formations in completely byproduct-free transformations,” Mr. Krische said.
Oct 18, 2007
Scientist in Wall Street Journal
The best way for industrial manufacturers to deal with frequently toxic chemical waste is to avoid producing it.