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April 4, 2011
Surely You Have Something Else to Do
Here's a question for all the organic chemists out there. A discussion with some colleagues the other day got me to thinking about the reactions that we all tend to underuse. The category I offered up was gaseous reagents. Outside of hydrogenation, I think that many of us sort of go "Ehh. . ." when we come across transformations that need lecture bottles, cylinder, regulators, and so on.
Add to that the unpleasant nature of many of the gases themselves, and it's easier to find something else to do. But there are a lot of good reactions and reagents in this category - metal-catalyzed CO insertions, reactions with ammonia, acetylene, sulfur dioxide, etc. There's just a bit of a higher activation barrier to getting around to running them.
I'd say that photochemistry and electrochemistry are in this "rather do something else" category as well. Other nominations welcome!
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