Uranium can perform reactions that previously no one thought possible, which could transform the way industry makes bulk chemicals, polymers, and the precursors to new drugs and plastics, according to new findings from The University of Manchester.
Writing in the journal Nature Communications, the chemists have discovered that uranium can perform reactions that used to be the preserve of transition metals such as rhodium and palladium. And because uranium sits between different types of reactivity of lanthanides and transition metals it might be able to combine the best of both to give new ways of producing materials and chemicals.
Could Uranium chemistry lead to a cure for cancer? A solution to the problem of hard plastics in our oceans? This fundamental science is possibly one of the greatest discoveries of recent years with far reaching implications.