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Copper chromite

Copper chromite is a complex inorganic composition Cu2Cr2O5, but often containing barium oxide that is used to catalyse certain reactions in organic synthesis.[1] It was first described in 1908.[2] A variety of composition are recognized including Cr2CuO4·CuO·BaCrO4 [[chemical abstracts registry number is 99328-50-4) and Cr2Cu2O5 (CAS# 12053-18-8). The latter is sometimes intentionally poisoned with quinoline, when the catalyst is used for decarboxylation reactions. The catalyst was developed in North America by Adkins and Lazier partly based on interrogation of German chemists after World War II in relation to the Fischer-Tropsch process.[3] The catalyst Cr2CuO4·CuO·BaCrO4 is prepared by addition of a solution containing both barium nitrate and copper(II) nitrate to a solution of ammonium chromate. This resulting precipitate is calcined at 350-400 C.[4]

Illustrative reactions

Reactions involving hydrogen are conducted at relatively high gas pressure (135 atm) and high temperatures (150-300 °C) in a so-called hydrogenation bomb. More active catalysts requiring less vigrous conditions are known but are typically derived from more expensive metals, such as platinum.


  1. ^ Cladingboel, D. E. “Copper Chromite” in Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis 2001 John Wiley & Sons. DOI: 10.1002/047084289X.rc221
  2. ^ Gröger, M. “Über Ammoniumdoppelchromate” Zeitschrift fur anorganische Chemie volume 58, page 412-426 (1908).doi:10.1002/zaac.19080580138; “Chromite aus basischen Chromaten” ibid. volume 76, page 30-38 (1912). doi:10.1002/zaac.19120760103 10.1002/zaac.19120760103
  3. ^ Fischer-Tropsch Archive
  4. ^ Lazier, W. A.; H. R. Arnold, H. “Copper Chromite Catalyst” Organic Syntheses, Collected Volume 2, p. 142 (1943).
  5. ^ Blomquist, A. T.; Goldstein, A. "1,2-Cyclodecanediol" Organic Syntheses Collected Volume 4, p.216.
  6. ^ Kaufman, D.; Reeve, W. “1,5-Pentanediol” Organic Syntheses, Collected Volume 3, p.693 (1955).
  7. ^ Buckles, R. E.; Wheeler, N. C. “cis-Stilbene” Organic Syntheses, Collected Volume 4, p.857 (1963).


  1. ^  The Copper-Chromium Oxide Catalyst for Hydrogenation Homer Adkins, Edward E. Burgoyne, Henry J. Schneider J. Am. Chem. Soc.; 1950; 72(6); 2626-2629. First Page
  2. ^  CAS registry [7440-47-3] & [1317-38-0]
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Copper_chromite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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