08 October 2009
Hydrogenolysis of Carbon Carbon Sigma Bonds
Very interesting paper from JACS (DOI: 10.1021/ja9076815); I've only read the abstract since I can't persuade anyone to pay for a subscription for me. However, when I saw the paper I immediately thought of biodiesel.
Fillion's paper will most probably have a discussion of the mechanism of the reaction; he may even have discussed biodiesel. For those not in the know, biodiesel is prepared (conventionally) by transesterifying a triglyceride with methanol to yield the methyl ester. In the absence of reading the full paper, and simply on the basis of the abstract I would suggest that it may be possible to prepare biodiesel by the hydrogenation of the triglyceride. This comparatively trivial step would be a huge improvement for what is a commodity chemical.