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Discovery Thrills Chemistry World

The discovery of a method for preparing a little- known class of fundamental hydrocarbons by HortResearch scientist Simon Fielder, has been received with excitement by top international chemists.

The editors of prestigious European chemistry journal, Angewandte Chemie: International Edition, have already published a preview of Dr Fielder's research under the 'very important paper' category. His full findings will be printed in December's edition and are on the way to being picked up by other important journals, including Chemistry in Australia.

Dr Fielder is happy his PhD thesis, completed in May, has attracted so much academic interest but he is a little surprised and overwhelmed by the response. "It is cool to actually achieve something which is recognised. We now have a new class of materials that have never been made before, who knows where this could end.

"It is exciting to make something that closes the gaps and helps fill more spaces in science."

While most fundamental classes of hydrocarbons have already been investigated and prepared synthetically, this had not been the case with the dendralenes. Dr Fielder said they were previously referred to as the "neglected class of hydrocarbons". This was partly because their complex double-bound structure made them difficult to produce.

However, Dr Fielder said the really beneficial part of the research was his discovery of a process for producing dendralenes in the future, using what he has called, Capillary Pyrolysis. "In the future this will be a starting point for other researchers."

Because it is such a fundamental piece of research he is not sure what impact it will have. "Because this is a new class of materials, there is huge potential for looking at their properties and possibly engineering new organic materials."

While Dr Fielder's dendralene discovery has received a lot of attention, it did not make up the majority of his thesis. This focused on the synthesis of chemicals believed to cause the superficial scalding of apples. Because Simon finished this study earlier then expected he deviated into the related study of dendralene synthesis.

Dr Fielder is not going to pursue further study on dendralenes, preferring to watch new developments without "getting his hands dirty".

For further information contact: Dr Simon Fielder, HortResearch, Tel: 06 356 8080 ext 7721/7736. Fax: 06 354 6731. Email: sfielder@hortresearch.co.nz For photos contact: Caleb Hulme-Moir, HortResearch, Tel: 06 351 7000 ext 7728. Fax: 06 351 7038. Email: chulme-moir@hortresearch.co.nz.

Alternatively download the photos from the HortResearch Media Centre at www.hortresearch.co.nz/media

Liz Brook Media Manager HortResearch Corporate Office Private Bag 11 030 Palmerston North New Zealand

Tel: +64 (6) 351 7000 Ext 7749 Fax: +64 (6) 351 7038 Mobile: 025 505 912


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