They create molecules that we use every day.  The key to success is 19th century technology

For example, chemists working in organic synthesis work on a similar principle to children playing with LEGO bricks. They help in this by forming bonds between carbon atoms, which of course must fit together. The problem is that the most reactive carbon atoms in organic compounds usually have a positive charge, which limits their compatibility.

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In search of solutions that would avoid this problem, scientists decided to take inspiration from the achievements of 19th century chemists. It was they who came up with the idea of ​​\u200b\u200busing organometallic compounds. The key to success was attaching carbon to metals such as zinc or magnesium, which allowed the charge to change from positive to negative. As a result, the possibilities for creating new molecules have greatly expanded.

Victor Grignard, who used readily available magnesium in his research, even won a Nobel Prize. Unfortunately, his method was not flawless. These are manifested, among other things, in reduced stability of particles exposed to moisture or air. After many years, scientists came up with an idea that allowed them to avoid complications. The solution was to mix magnesium without a solvent in a special device, which leads to higher efficiency and at the same time reduces the negative impact on the environment.

Particles created using mechanochemistry are later used, for example, in pharmacy or smartphone production

The background to recent research on this issue has been presented in International edition of applied chemistry. The authors of the publication argue that their method is called Mechanical chemistry – Although it has been known since ancient times – it has often been ignored in favor of other methods. As they explain, the described approach can be compared to grinding coffee beans in a grinder. Mechanical chemistry, free of harmful organic solvents, is much more environmentally friendly than traditionally used techniques.

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The project could be a breakthrough in the whole thing influential. The return to the use of mechanochemistry is intended to be a catalyst for the development of the chemical industry, which will thus become safer and more sustainable. As you can see, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel – sometimes all you need are a few changes to solutions that have been known for generations.

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