This award is funded in whole or in part under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2). In this project, funded by the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate and housed in the Chemistry Division, Professor Konstantin Bukhryakov and his students at the Florida International University will study the mechanism of olefin metathesis catalyzed by iron complexes. Olefin metathesis is the chemical reaction applied in industry to produce chemicals employed in daily life, including plastics, advanced materials, household chemicals, agricultural compounds, pharmaceuticals, and many others. The reaction requires the use of metal-based catalysts. However, the currently utilized catalysts are based on non-abundant metals, which affects the final cost of the products and raises environmental concerns. This research aims to develop catalysts for olefin metathesis based on iron, abundant and sustainable metal, to provide less expensive and greener alternatives for existing methods. This, in turn, will make essential chemicals more accessible to consumers and decrease the human environmental footprint. The project provides research opportunities for multiple high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students.
The proposed research plan focuses on developing well-defined iron catalysts for olefin metathesis. The project will perform a comprehensive systematical study of the influence of ligands on the catalytic activity, selectivity, and stability of iron catalysts. It will allow the development of a reliable catalyst. Kinetic investigations of initiation, productive metathesis, decomposition steps will help identify the optimum catalytic conditions. In addition, studies of critical active intermediates and decomposition products will expand the scope of iron-based olefin metathesis.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.