Writing in the journal Nature Communications, the chemists have discovered that uranium can perform reactions that used to be the preserve of transition metals such as rhodium and palladium. And because uranium sits between different types of reactivity of lanthanides and transition metals it might be able to combine the best of both to give new ways of producing materials and chemicals.
This discovery is also profiled in a new video which is part of a series produced by the School of Chemistry. Other videos show how chemists at Manchester have developed the world’s smallest fuel powered motor and identified that Parkinson’s sufferers can have a unique smell identifying the disease – before any medical professional can see symptoms.
The YouTube series attempts to put world class scientific papers into words that anyone can understand.
The CAMERA (Chemistry at Manchester Explains Research Advances) series of films is available to watch and subscribe to here.
The latest discovery means that industry might now be in a position to develop new compounds that can’t be made in any other way.
Steve Liddle, Professor and Head of Inorganic Chemistry, and author of the paper, said: “This discovery will lead to some monumental developments that could change the way we live. Development work like this really could pave the way for new medicines and also the creation of truly biodegradable hard plastic.
Source : The University of Manchester