Postdoctoral Researcher Wenqi (Vince) Liu′s full paper on “Supramolecular Gold Stripping from Activated Carbon Using α-Cyclodextrin” has been featured on the cover of Issue 4 of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
The paper reports the molecular recognition of the Au(CN)2– anion, a crucial intermediate in today’s gold mining industry, by α-cyclodextrin. Adduct formation between KAu(CN)2 and α-cyclodextrin in aqueous solution is sustained by multiple [C–H···π] and [C–H···anion] interactions in addition to hydrophobic effects. Vince has demonstrated that this molecular recognition between α-cyclodextrin and KAu(CN)2 can be applied to the stripping of gold from the surface of activated carbon at room temperature. What is more, this stripping process is selective for Au(CN)2– in the presence of Ag(CN)2–, which has a lower binding affinity toward α-cyclodextrin. This molecular recognition process could, in principle, be integrated into commercial gold-mining protocols and lead to significant reductions in costs, energy consumption, and environmental impact.
The cover art was designed and created by Graphic Designer Alex Bosoy. It illustrates the transfer of Au(CN)2– anions by α-cyclodextrin from the surface of the activated carbon into the aqueous solution at room temperature.
Well done Vince. Nice work!
Pictured below – Wenqi (Vince) Liu alongside the cover image for JACS Issue 4: