is a solid catalyst
composed of fine grains of a nickel
, used in many industrial processes. It was developed in 1926 by American engineer Murray Raney
as an alternative catalyst for the hydrogenation
of vegetable oils
in industrial processes. More recently it is used as a heterogeneous catalyst
in a variety of organic syntheses
, most commonly for hydrogenation reactions.
Raney nickel is produced when a block of nickel-aluminium alloy is treated with concentrated sodium hydroxide. This treatment, called "activation", dissolves most of the aluminium out of the alloy. The porous structure left behind has a large surface area, which gives high catalytic activity. A typical catalyst is around 85-percent nickel by mass, corresponding to about two atoms of nickel for every atom of aluminium. The aluminium which remains helps to preserve the pore structure of the overall catalyst.
Since Raney is a registered trademark of W. R. Grace and Company, only those products by its Grace Davison division are properly called "Raney nickel". Alternatively, the more generic terms "skeletal catalyst" or "sponge-metal catalyst" may be used to refer to catalysts that have physical and chemical properties similar to those of Raney nickel.
Friedrich Wöhler (July 31, 1800 - September 23, 1882) was a German chemist, -known for his synthesis of urea, but also the first to isolate several of the elements. In 1828 Wöhler proved by his preparation of urea from inorganic materials that organic substances do not have to come from biological sources, disproving the doctrine of vitalism.
Wikipedia:WikiProject Chemicals/Data is a collection of links and references that are useful for chemistry-related works. This includes free online chemical databases, publications, patents, computer programs, and various tools.
Science is Fun
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A good place to figure out what equals what.
General Chemistry Online
Clear text and comprehensive coverage of general chemistry topics by Fred Senese, Dept. of Chemistry Frostburg State University
General Chemistry Demonstration at Purdue
Video clips (and descriptions) of lecture demonstrations.
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Chemistry Webercises Directory
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MathMol (Mathematics and Molecules) is a good starting point for those interested in the field of molecular modeling.
Educational Resources and Essential References from Wiley, the world's largest chemistry publisher
A directory of free full-text journals in chemistry, biochemistry and related subjects.
The Element Song
A goofy little song about all of the elements.