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Biorelevant Metals in Sustainable Metal Catalysis—A Survey

Authors

  • Michael S. Holzwarth,

    1. Institut für Organische Chemie, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 55, 70569 Stuttgart (Germany), Fax: (+49) 711-685-64269
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  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Plietker

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut für Organische Chemie, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 55, 70569 Stuttgart (Germany), Fax: (+49) 711-685-64269
    • Institut für Organische Chemie, Universität Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 55, 70569 Stuttgart (Germany), Fax: (+49) 711-685-64269

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Abstract

A growing world population and increasing energy demands are without a doubt the most important challenges for mankind within this century. Catalysis is a key technology in various fields of chemistry and offers the potential to increase the material output of chemical synthesis without an unreasonable increase in the energy necessary for the production of new materials. Hence, the various disciplines of catalysis are “sustainable” by definition. However, for a wide range of catalytic transformations to take the necessary next step from academic research to industrial application, the catalytic processes do not only have to be sustainable with regard to the substrate-to-product conversions, but they also have to be sustainable with regard to parameters such as solvent, energy source, and the nature of the catalyst. Currently, the vast majority of transition-metal-catalyzed homogenous reactions are based upon late and expensive transition-metal complexes. In the present review we summarize the current state of the art in sustainable metal catalysis, that is, catalysis based upon inexpensive biorelevant metals such as Ca, Mg, V, Mo, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, B, Si, and Se. These metals are part of nature’s catalytic toolbox and have experienced a tremendous comeback in metal catalysis within the past 10 years.

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