“We might be able to develop an idealistically green oxidation process of alcohols…” This and more about the story behind the research that inspired the Cover image is presented in the Cover Profile. Read the full text of the corresponding research at 10.1002/cssc.202102076. View the Front Cover here: 10.1002/cssc.202102409.
Invited for this month′s cover is the group of Prof. Mahito Atobe at Yokohama National University, Japan. The image shows an anion-exchange membrane (AEM) reactor enabling selective oxidation of a primary alcohol to a corresponding aldehyde by the electrochemical reaction at the triple-phase boundary. The Communication itself is available at 10.1002/cssc.202102076.
What prompted you to investigate this topic/problem?
The selective oxidation of primary alcohols to aldehydes is a classical reaction in organic chemistry, yet it is still challenging if we envision such a reaction in a sustainable manner. We considered that we might be able to develop an idealistically green oxidation process of alcohols to aldehydes by using the anion-exchange membrane (AEM) reactor as a key technology, which features electrochemical reaction with minimum loss of energy without an added supporting salt.
What do you consider exciting developments in the field?
Based off of the interest in the sustainable production of chemicals, an increasing number of chemists are starting research on electrosynthesis, and many exciting electrochemical transformations are reported on a daily basis. The implementation of solid-polymer electrolytes (SPEs) including the AEM reactor to the electrosynthetic research is still under exploration, but we believe the combination of state-of-the-art electrosynthetic knowledge with SPE electrolysis will lead to a sustainable future of chemical industry, where all the thermal energy-based chemical processes using fossil fuels are replaced by electrochemical process using renewable energy.
This work was supported by a CREST grant (No. JP65R1204400) from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). We are grateful to Yokohama National University for the financial support in the production of the cover picture.