Modern alchemists are making chemistry greener

(Princeton University) Modern alchemists are trying to replace precious metals with greener, cheaper alternatives. Princeton Chemistry Professor Paul Chirik and his team have synthesized an epilepsy medication using one-electron oxidation that replaces rhodium and dichloromethane with the much greener cobalt and methanol. "Earth-abundant catalysts [can] not only replace the precious metal ones, but they offer distinct advantages," said Chirik, including "new chemistry that no one's ever seen before" and "a reduced environmental footprint."