Green Chemistry: 3 new scientific articles have just been published on the use of ultrasound in chemistry (sonochemistry).

Sonochemistry is an innovative technology used in particular as a method of non-conventional activation in catalytic processes.

Grégory Chatel, Lecturer at the University of Poitiers and the team Catalysis and non-conventional media of the Institute of Chemistry and Materials Media Poitiers IC2MP has published three new articles on sonochemistry in ChemSusChem journals Chem. Soc. ChemCatChem. The last item has been selected by the ChemCatChem editor like inside cover of the log for the month of December.




The term "sonochemistry" is used to describe the chemical and physical processes that occur in solution with the energy provided by ultrasound (sound waves of the frequency range between 16 kHz and 200 MHz). Ultrasound effects are directly related to cavitation which is the formation, growth and implosion of gas microbubbles in liquids. Collapsing in on themselves, these cavitation microbubbles release of large amounts of energy in the form of intense local heat (about 5000 Kelvins), very high pressure (up to 1000 atmospheres) of shockwaves, acoustic micro-currents and microjets.


Schematic representation of cavitation.

Sonochemistry, a tool for sustainable chemistry.

The first article published this summer by Grégory Chatel, Karine De Oliveira and Francois Vigier Jerome in ChemSusChem provides a critical analysis of the potential of sonochemistry for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into chemical compounds of interest.

The second article, published in collaboration with Doug MacFarlane (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia) addresses synergistic effects brought about by the combination ionic liquids / ultrasound in chemistry. Ionic liquids are salts having a low melting temperature, typically less than 100 ° C. Many ionic liquids are liquid at room temperature and are used as solvents in organic chemistry or in batteries by examples. In many cases, the combined use of ultrasonic and ionic liquids allows improvements in the yields and reaction rates. The use of ionic liquids and sonochemistry are two areas often associated with the principles of green chemistry due to their properties and their applications more environmentally friendly.

The third article concerns the work of a L3 intern from the University of Poitiers, Damien Rinsant and offers an effective and gentle method to oxidize D-glucose under ultrasound. Indeed, the production of gluconic acid from D-glucose represents a viable target for the industry. The mechanisms associated with the oxidation reaction under ultrasound has also been studied in this work.

Often the use of ultrasound provides different results from those obtained by traditional methods, such as increased yields, reduced reaction time or even completely different selectivities. Finally, contrary to popular belief, the optimized use of ultrasound in chemistry typically consumes less energy than conventional systems.



  • Sonochemistry : What Potential for Conversion of Lignocellulosic Biomass into Platform Chemicals ?

G. Chatel*, K. De Oliveira Vigier and F. Jérôme, ChemSusChem 2014, 7, 2774–2787.

  • Ionic liquids and ultrasound in combination : synergies and challenges G. Chatel* and D. R. MacFarlane, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2014, 43, 8132–8149.

  • Efficient and Selective Oxidation of D-Glucose into Gluconic acid under Low-Frequency Ultrasonic Irradiation.

D. Rinsant, G. Chatel* and F. Jérôme, ChemCatChem, 2014, 6, 3355–3359.

  • Cover Picture ChemCatChem, 2014, 6, 3266.





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