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Faster Catalysts Highlighted by C&E News Magazine

3 June 2011

Research by Chris Parlett, Adam Lee and Karen Wilson from the School of Chemistry, and their collaborators at York and Leeds, has been featured in the Science and Technology concentrates section of the ACS magazine Chemical & Engineering News.

The work, published as a Letter in the newly launched ACS Catalysis journal (, reveals how the selective oxidation of allylic alcohols, an industrially important process used to synthesise valuable fragrances, flavourings and food additives, can be accelerated by tuning the porous architecture of their palladium/silica catalysts at the nanoscale (1 billionth of a metre!). By introducing larger pores into the silica framework,  that can act as highways to rapidly transport molecules to and from the active PdO sites, and subsequently connecting these pores together, the team were able to achieve 5-fold enhancements in the rate of cinnamaldehyde production, a molecule widely used to impart the aroma and taste of cinnamon spice.

C & E News Magazine