Lewis Super Acids

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Recently, researchers at Paderborn University, Germany have been able to make a unique class of catalysts called “Lewis super-acids”.

About Lewis Super Acids:

  • Lewis super-acids are derived from Lewis acids, named after the chemist, G N Lewis.
  • Lewis superacids are used as catalysts in chemistry to accelerate reactions.
  • These are compounds that add electron pairs and can be used to break strong chemical bonds and speed up reactions.
  • These are highly reactive reagents, thus difficult to produce and use.
  • It enables non-biodegradable fluorinated hydrocarbons (similar to Teflon) to be converted back into sustainable chemicals.
  • It can even convert climate-damaging greenhouse gases, such as sulphur hexafluoride into sustainable ones.

What are Lewis Acid and Base?

  • Lewis Acid: It is an  electron-pair acceptor such as a Hydrogen ion (H+)
  • Lewis Base: It is an electron-pair donor such as the hydroxide (OH-) ion.


Q1) What are the properties of acids ?

Acids have a sour taste, corrosive,change the color of certain vegetable dyes, such as litmus, from blue to red.

Source: Science for All | What are Lewis super acids?