23 August 2019 Bulletin

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SoDibenzofuran is a heterocyclic organic compound with the molecular formula C12H8O. It is an aromatic compound that has two benzene rings fused to a central furan ring. All the numbered carbon atoms have a hydrogen atom bonded to each of them. It is a volatile white solid that is soluble in non-polar organic solvents. [1] Dibenzofuran is created from the production of coal tar. [2]

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Scientists discover approach to activate inert gases

Inert gases like argon typically do not form chemical bonds except under extreme conditions, such as the icy cold of outer space. As shared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international team of scientists has developed a ground-breaking approach to design and generate gaseous ions that bind even argon at room temperature. This surprising innovation creates opportunities to activate inert compounds and elements and use them in new ways. Scientists relied on positively charged ions when trying to bind argon in the past. They deemed these ions “electrophiles” because of an affinity for sharing electrons. The new approach introduces an apparently counterintuitive idea. Special negatively charged ions can act as super-electrophiles. This unique way of looking at binding opens the door to fundamentally new opportunities. Scientists from Germany’s University of Leipzig, University of Wuppertal, and University of Bremen joined with colleagues at the University of the Free State in South Africa, University of Washington, Purdue University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, to answer a puzzling question. Under what well-defined circumstances could negatively-charged ions be made reactive enough to bind with argon? They theorised that a scaffolding of negatively charged atoms around a strong positively charged centre could be exceptionally reactive and show different binding properties than a highly reactive positively charged ion alone. To validate the concept, they synthesised the most stable doubly negatively charged molecule ever investigated. Refining it further proved that a negatively charged fragment of it could spontaneously bind with argon at room temperature. Using EMSL’s Low Temperature Photoelectron Spectroscopy equipment coupled with high-level computational studies, they characterized this molecule as highly reactive and structurally stable. The work could lead to activation of other inert compounds and elements.


Japan Announces 210 New Chemicals Substances under CSCL

On 31 July 2019, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Ministry of the Environment (MOE), and Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) released the Joint Notice No.2, announcing the names, serial numbers, and MITI numbers of 210 new chemical substances under the Chemical Substance Control Law (CSCL). Following the release, these substances will be considered as Newly Announced Chemical Substances (notified on and after 1 April 2011) and categorised as General Chemical Substances under the framework of CSCL. Japan has two systems for new chemical substance notification, one under the CSCL framework and the other subject to the Industrial Safety and Health Law (ISHL). Substances in the two notification systems are managed separately, which certainly overlap a lot. New chemical substances which have been registered as per the ISHL will be published four times each year (in March, June, September, and December, respectively); while those registered under the CSCL are published only once a year (usually in each July). Further information is available at: Joint Notice No.2 of METI, MOE, and MHLW


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