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Nobel Prize for groundbreaking way of building molecules that made chemistry greener

By Ramon Rios, Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry, University of Southampton
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Benjamin List and David MacMillan, respectively from Germany and the US, will share the 10 million Swedish kronor (£870,000) Nobel prize in chemistry 2021 for their development of “organocatalysis” – a precise tool for constructing molecules which has boosted pharmaceutical research and made chemistry greener and cheaper.

Their research dates back to 2000, when the chemists independently developed the first steps of what today is called “asymmetric organocatalysis”, which is the activation of chemical reactions…

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