Preparation of Complexes as Robust Catalytic Oxidants

Student: Ifa Abduljelil
Mentor: Kim Lance (Department of Chemistry)

Water is accessible to human’s daily life at a miniscule scale and many reactions that purify water may be harmful to the environment and may take a very long time. Nature uses a protein, cytochrome-P450, as a short cut to modify compounds to purify water efficiently. We are imitating nature’s way of speeding up water purification by making and testing a molecule that mimics the structure of cytochrome-P450 to purify water rapidly.

Fresh water accessibility for humans as a direct use is extremely difficult to attain, about 0.007% and the results of water purification today leads to toxic by-products thus a new way for purification of water is essential.1 Through the guidelines of green chemistry by ACS, a macrocycle ligand complex of Diamide-Diamine (Da-Da) was synthesized.2 The oxidative capability of this catalyst was to mimic the protein function of cytochrome P-450. The molecule cyclohexene was to be oxidized to form 7-oxabicyclo[4,1,0]heptane involving hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant at different conditions. A standard solution containing the internal standard and possible products of the reaction was created for comparison. The results were acquired through Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), which showed no epoxidation of cyclohexene but did show significant reduction of cyclohexene peak area, as compared to chlorobenzene, internal standard. The results showed that something was occurring through the color changing reaction conducted and some speculations have been noted, thus further investigation is needed.

1: “The World's Water.” Where Is Earth’s Water? USGS Water-Science School. U.S. Geological Survey's Water Science School, 02 May 2016. Web. 29 July 2016.

2: Sheldon, Roger A. “Green Chemistry Principle #9 - American Chemical Society.” American Chemical Society. N.p., 2016. Web. 27 July 2016.