Both Fuel Cell and Reagent Grade Markets Served
GFS is now producing ammonia borane using the superior technology developed by Prof. Sheldon Shore at the Ohio State University. Material made by this method is preferred for its consistently high level of purity and performance in multiple technologies. This includes serving as a starting point for derivatized compounds and salts of interest to researchers in various hydrogen technologies.
The availability of kilo quantities of high-quality, domestically produced ammonia borane (“Fuel Cell Grade”) has expanded this novel material’s use in many hydrogen technology applications where purity is essential to avoid catalyst poisoning.
A more economical reagent grade having less exacting specifications bears considerable potential as a selective reducing agent. This product can also be evaluated as a teaching tool in instructional organic labs, providing data that begin to elucidate potential uses in both research and commercial synthesis.
Millimole quantities of various ketones can be reacted with 50 milligrams of ammonia borane, and the reaction monitored by TLC. Work-up is straightforward, and yields of 80-90% are not uncommon. The neutral borane usually has a more moderate reaction rate than the borohydride anion, but is reactive in both protic and aprotic media; this includes water, in which ammonia borane is inherently stable.
There is also data that demonstrate the potential utility of ammonia borane in reductive aminations and in the reduction of sugars. Byproducts in carbohydrate reductions can differ from those observed with NaBH4. Fewer solvent effects may also be exhibited by ammonia borane. Use of this reagent can be expected to simplify product work-up and provide potentially very clean reactions under moderate conditions.
One area that has begun to be explored is the use of metal salts to catalytically enhance the selectivity of ammonia borane reductions. It has long been known that both hydrated and anhydrous cerium salts can activate carbon-oxygen reaction sites. For example, the reduction of alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl compounds by sodium borohydride can be assisted in such a manner. Similar reactions with ammonia borane have exhibited enhanced selectivity using the catalytic effects of magnesium chloride.
The study of the effects of metal ion catalysts on ammonia borane reductions is a promising field. For chemists interested in the dramatic catalytic properties of the anhydrous perchlorate salts of magnesium and lithium, we recommend GFS publication number 495 "Practical Use of Anhydrous LiClO4 and Mg(ClO4)2 in Organic Synthesis”.
Additional information on the handling and use of perchlorate salts is available on this web site.
Ammonia borane brings many characteristics favorable to research chemists, engineers, and material scientists reproducible high purities confirmed by NMR in an odor-free product suitable for fuel cell applications (GFS item #5373) high hydrogen content (19.5% total hydrogen content)solubility properties conducive to imaginative, alternate reaction pathways moisture stability plus ease of handling and work up.
A more economical reagent grade (GFS item # 5372) is available for use in organic synthesis. This material typically exhibits a trace of amine odor which does not compromise its use in most preparative work.
For additional information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporate Sales, Organic Division
614-224-5013 extension 355