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.