Research ArticleChemistry

A chlorine-free protocol for processing germanium

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  05 May 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 5, e1700149
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700149

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text


Replacing molecular chlorine and hydrochloric acid with less energy- and risk-intensive reagents would markedly improve the environmental impact of metal manufacturing at a time when demand for metals is rapidly increasing. We describe a recyclable quinone/catechol redox platform that provides an innovative replacement for elemental chlorine and hydrochloric acid in the conversion of either germanium metal or germanium dioxide to a germanium tetrachloride substitute. Germanium is classified as a “critical” element based on its high dispersion in the environment, growing demand, and lack of suitable substitutes. Our approach replaces the oxidizing capacity of chlorine with molecular oxygen and replaces germanium tetrachloride with an air- and moisture-stable Ge(IV)-catecholate that is kinetically competent for conversion to high-purity germanes.

  • Chemistry
  • main group chemistry
  • germanium
  • aerobic oxidation
  • mechanochemistry

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text