Nobel Prize in Chemistry

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Recently the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the year 2021 has been announced.

It may be noted that Benjamin List and David MacMillan have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They were awarded this award for the development of organo catalysis, a new precise tool for molecular fabrication.

Catalysis is the process of increasing the rate of a chemical reaction by introducing a catalyst.

Catalysts are substances that control and accelerate chemical reactions without being part of the final product.

For example, the catalysts in cars convert the toxic substances present in the emitted fumes into harmless molecules.

There are theoretically only two types of catalysts available, according to the researchers: metals and enzymes.

List and Macmillan have developed a third type of catalyst – “asymmetric organo-catalysis”. It is also more environmentally friendly and cheaper to produce.

The carbon atom in organic catalysts has a stable structure. They often contain common elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur or phosphorus.

Organo catalysis has various applications in drug research and other industries.

It has helped in streamlining the production of existing drugs. These also include drugs used to treat anxiety, depression, and respiratory infections.

Source – The Hindu

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