Researchers at McGill University may have discovered a better way to make chemicals.
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Researchers at McGill University may have discovered a better way to make chemicals. Bulk solvents, which are used universally in the chemical industry, are extremely bad for humans and the environment. As a result, there is a growing interest in relying on “mechanochemistry” as an alternative to bulk solvents. Mechanochemistry uses high-frequency milling to drive reactions. The underlying chemistry, however, is difficult to observe because milling involves the intense impacts of steel balls in quickly moving jars.
Researchers at McGill have had a breakthrough in understanding mechanochemistry. They have observed a milling reaction in real time, utilizing highly penetrating X-rays to see the rapid transformations as the mill mixed, ground and transformed simple ingredients into a complex product.