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On the Way Towards Greener Transition‐Metal‐Catalyzed Processes as Quantified by E Factors


Transition-metal-catalyzed carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond formations are among the most heavily used types of reactions in both academic and industrial settings. As important as these are to the synthetic community, such cross-couplings come with a heavy price to our environment, and sustainability. E Factors are one measure of waste created, and organic solvents, by far, are the main contributors to the high values associated, in particular, with the pharmaceutical and fine-chemical companies which utilize these reactions. An alternative to organic solvents in which cross-couplings are run can be found in the form of micellar catalysis, wherein nanoparticles composed of newly introduced designer surfactants enable the same cross-couplings, albeit in water, with most taking place at room temperature. In the absence of an organic solvent as the reaction medium, organic waste and hence, E Factors, drop dramatically.

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