The research work of ARC Laureate Fellow Prof. Michelle Coote from the RSC has been featured in an article in New Scientist titled “Electric Chemistry” by Gege Li.
The article takes a look at the ways in which electricity could act as a catalyst and be used to help speed up chemical reactions. In the article they highlight Coote’s pivotal work from 2016 at ANU which opened up a new area of thought. The research, completed with Darwish (now at Curtin University) showed that when two molecules are brought together in an electric field you can in fact increase the speed of the reaction with an increase of the electric fields voltage.
This experiment opened the door for further research around the globe, with groups working on ways to use this knowledge on a much larger scale. The use of electricity as a catalyst would be a welcome green alternative to the current alternative of often expensive and toxic heavy metals.
To read further about the ideas Michelle’s work has inspired and the possible uses of electricity as a catalyst please have a read of the full article.