UCR Chemists Identify Organic Molecules That Mimic Metals. ‘Molecules may offer solution to storing hydrogen and producing abundant amino compounds for industrial applications. A limitation in using hydrogen as a fuel in hydrogen-powered vehicles is the difficulty involved in storing it in a cost-effective and convenient manner. While it is possible to store hydrogen using metals, the resulting products often can be prohibitively expensive and cause environmental problems.
Chemists at UC Riverside now offer a possible solution. A class of carbenes – molecules that have unusual, highly reactive carbon atoms – can mimic, to some extent, the behavior of metals, the chemists have found. Called cyclic alkyl amino carbenes or CAACs, these organic molecules, the researchers report, could be used to develop carbon-based systems for storing hydrogen. Study results appear in the April 20 issue of Science.
In their experiments, the researchers found that the CAACs can split hydrogen under extremely mild conditions, a behavior that has long been seen in metals reacting with hydrogen.’
Carbenes Related: UCR Researchers Synthesize Molecules That Can Accelerate Chemical Reactions Used to Manufacture Drugs. ‘Chemists at the University of California, Riverside have synthesized a new class of carbenes – molecules that have unusual carbon atoms – that is expected to have wide applications in the pharmaceutical industry, ultimately resulting in a reduction in the price of drugs.’