Volume 91 Issue 20 | p. 6 | News of The Week
Issue Date: May 20, 2013 | Web Date: May 16, 2013

Sugary Structure Has Midas Touch

Supramolecular Chemistry: Cyclodextrin rounds up gold salts for greener recovery
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: gold recovery, cyclodextrin, gold tetrabromide, supramolecular chemistry

Plucking gold metal out of ores and electronic waste could get more environmentally friendly, thanks to some sweet supramolecular chemistry. Chemists have discovered that α-cyclodextrin, an inexpensive cyclic compound composed of six sugar moieties, can pull gold tetrabromide salts out of solution, offering a greener method for gold recovery (Nat. Commun. 2013, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2891).

Currently, the most popular way to extract gold involves converting . . .

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