Recently, researchers at Paderborn University, Germany have been able to make a unique class of catalysts called “Lewis super-acids”.


About Lewis Super Acids

  • Lewis super-acids are derived from Lewis acids, named after the chemist, G N Lewis.
  • Lewis superacids are used as catalysts in chemistry to accelerate reactions.
  • These are compounds that add electron pairs and can be used to break strong chemical bonds and speed up reactions.
  • These are highly reactive reagents, thus difficult to produce and use.
  • It enables non-biodegradable fluorinated hydrocarbons (similar to Teflon) to be converted back into sustainable chemicals.
  • It can even convert climate-damaging greenhouse gases, such as sulphur hexafluoride into sustainable ones.


What are Lewis Acid and Base?

  • Lewis Acid — It is an electron-pair acceptor such as a Hydrogen ion (H+)
  • Lewis Base — It is an electron-pair donor such as the hydroxide (OH-) ion.