Area of Study
Science and Mathematics
The main objective of the proposed research is to develop new iron-based metal complexes to catalyze the hydrogenation of carbonyl groups and alkenes. In this project, we plan to work towards the achievement of green chemistry principles through catalysis. Catalysis can be used to lower the energy input and the amount of reagents in a chemical reaction and can potentially lead to significant reduction of waste and increase in efficiency. The hydrogenation of carbon-carbon and carbon-oxygen double bonds is one key chemical process that has been made more efficient and less wasteful through catalysis. Current hydrogenation technologies are very effective, but a major drawback is the expensive and toxic nature of the metal catalysts (rhodium, iridium, or ruthenium) currently used. Therefore, developing catalysts based on less expensive and more environmentally acceptable metals like iron is highly desirable, and this constitutes the overall goal of this project. In order to achieve this goal, we must first synthesize the organic ligands that are in the iron complex. We will then work to attach the ligands to the iron center. Finally, if time allows, we will test our catalysts in hydrogenation reactions.
Willis, Shelby, "Synthesis of Ligands for Studies on Iron-Based Hydrogenation Catalysts" (2013). Summer Research. 180.
University of Puget Sound