Water-Splitting and Catalyzed Ester Synthesis with Organomanganese (I) Complexes

Karthika Jairaj Kadassery

Karthika setting up a reaction for synthesizing manganese catalysts .

Karthika setting up a reaction for synthesizing manganese catalysts.

Graduate Student Project

Introduction

Did you know that a majority of the drugs and chemicals we use in our society are prepared in the industry using expensive and often toxic metal catalysts?

Hi, I'm Karthika J. Kadassery, a 5th year Ph.D. student, under the mentorship of Dr. David C. Lacy, in the Chemistry department at the University at Buffalo. My research focuses on designing, synthesizing, and characterizing organomanganese complexes for various applications ranging from water splitting to catalyzing organic transformations.

A lot of chemical reactions relevant to society are catalyzed by expensive or toxic metal complexes. Manganese is a first-row transition metal that is earth-abundant and non-toxic. Recently, manganese compounds have gained a lot of attention in the field of catalysis due to its ability to catalyze transformations that were previously catalyzed by toxic metals. Thus, there is ample reason to explore the fundamental chemistry of manganese complexes. Only time will tell what kind of new reactions manganese will be able to catalyze so as to open possible avenues toward replacing toxic and expensive metals in the energy as well as organic catalysis domain.

Abstract

Metal catalysts are an important component of industrially relevant chemical reactions and aids in producing massive amounts of chemicals in a short span of time. Unfortunately, a lot of chemical reactions relevant to society are catalyzed by expensive or toxic metal complexes. Manganese is a first-row transition metal that is earth-abundant and non-toxic. Recently, manganese compounds have gained a lot of attention in the field of catalysis due to its ability to catalyze transformations that were previously catalyzed by ruthenium. For this reason, the research of Karthika Kadassery in the Lacy research group details efforts toward the synthesis and characterization of novel manganese compounds. The findings are that certain manganese complexes enable the synthesis of ester compounds, which are important molecules in the food and pharmaceutical chemical industry. The manganese compounds also exhibit thermochemical and photochemical properties that allowed for new strategies of harnessing sunlight into stored chemical energy.

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