IR Spectroscopy Defines Catalysed Reactions
02 Aug 2011

Authored by METTLER TOLEDO’s Adrian Burke and Dominique Hebrault, “Metal Catalyzed Transformations” reviews four recent academic examples where METTLER TOLEDO’s ReactIRTM in situ spectroscopy quickly supplied key reaction parameters—some of which had been lacking using other methodology—to researchers in highly usable graphic formats. ReactIR also allowed results collection in fewer experiments saving researchers’ time as well as materials cost.

Defining reaction start and end points—and ensuring reaction completeness—has historically presented a challenge to researchers in both academia and industry. However, IR spectroscopy, such as METTLER TOLEDO’s ReactIR, has been shown to help researchers describe mechanisms, pathways and kinetics of critical catalytic reactions. “The ability to thoroughly define these parameters is increasingly important due to the large number of complex manufacturing processes that rely on metal catalysts, which can be scarce, expensive, or both,” said Mr. Burke, head of Software and Segment Marketing for METTLER TOLEDO AutoChem. “Better process definition means more reliable reactions as well as reduced materials costs.”

The paper highlights the contexts in which ReactIR answered key reaction questions. In the first three studies, ReactIR was used to analyse reaction time-to-completion, the structure of reaction intermediaries, and reaction rate & mechanism, respectively. The fourth and final study demonstrated the power of combining structural information offered by the functional specificity of mid-IR with the kinetic information gained from in situ reaction-rate monitoring: Researchers determined that formation of an unexpected intermediary was negatively affecting racemisation.

ReactIR in situ spectroscopy was shown to provide valuable information that enabled full description of the complex reactions. Results also proved complementary to other structural data such as NMR. Finally, the combination of ReactIR with METTLER TOLEDO’s iC KineticsTM software created a more robust methodology that allowed the study of reaction kinetics using fewer experiments than more traditional approaches.
“We hope this paper demonstrates how ReactIR in situ spectroscopy, when used either on its own or with other technologies, can help clarify reaction parameters in both academic and industry environments and ultimately promote more accurate, predictable and cost-effective manufacturing,” concluded Mr. Burke.
 
For more on ReactIR spectroscopy, or complementary technologies such as iC Kinetics or METTLER TOLEDO’s EasyMaxTM, please visit the website.

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