Electric field catalysis

Electric field catalysis

Electric fields used as catalysis, electric fields used to speed up chemical reactions and control chemical reactions.

Learn to control chemistry using electric fields and the consequences could be revolutionary, says Joshua Howgego

Chemists are used to harnessing all sorts of subtle and not-so-subtle tools to choreograph the dance of molecules, from lasers to microwaves to plain old heating and stirring. But now, in a few labs around the world, an unusual new idea is crackling and sparking into life: chemists are starting to explore whether electric fields can be used to control reactions too.

… At first sight, an electric field might seem like an untameable partner; could such a diffuse force really be used to influence the making and breaking of individual bonds? But a stunning experiment conducted early in 2017 showed for the first time that this is precisely what can be done. Set things up just right, and these fields can conjure chemistry in supercharged style. Now the race is on to see where this control could take us.
Field of influence | Chemistry World

The initial experiments, processes and applications are rather limited but could they be scalable and what will they lead on to in the future?

Electric field catalysis

Part of the reason Shaik sometimes had difficulty getting his ideas published was because reviewers had trouble seeing how electric fields could ever be practically useful catalysts.

In Shaik’s simulations, the electric field had to be aligned with a particular axis of a molecule, yet in solution molecules tumble around all over the place meaning only a tiny fraction would be in the right orientation at any one time. Coote’s work only got around this by fixing them in place on the tip of an AFM – a beautiful demonstration but hardly a scaleable synthetic method.
Field of influence | Chemistry World

Scalable electric field catalysis

These results suggest that you can get can electric fields to catalyse reactions in situations more conventional than the inside of an STM microscope. But it’s not immediately clear how it works; it is possible that the thin layer of electric charge inside the device may encourage molecules to align in neat rows.

If that’s true, then one way to make electric field catalysis scaleable might be to convert Kanan’s cell into a flow reactor, so that the molecules flow past the electric field over and over again, increasing the probability that they eventually align perfectly with it and react.
Field of influence | Chemistry World

Electric field chemical reactions catalyst

Thanks to Alan Poirier @alan_poirier for link to the article.

Electric field geology catalysis

Could some forms of minerals (link to PDF) or rocks provide chemical molecules that are directionally fixed, so electromagnetic fields align with them?

But it’s hard to avoid thinking that the true potential of electric field catalysis will come out sooner rather than later. Chemistry World spoke to one chemist who was considering how magnetic fields might be used to hold molecules in the right alignment for the electric field to influence them, though the plans were at too early a stage to be fully divulged.
Field of influence | Chemistry World

Electric field geology molecules

And electrified gas in all its space plasma glory and environments? Dusty plasmas, chemical elements, Kristian Birkeland galactic plasma filaments, plasma stars and our Sun?

Elemental transformation? Those special coronal mass ejections of iron and helium-3 particles?

A percentage of the molecules moving through an electromagnetic field alignment that could have increased catalytic reactions?