Monday, May 17, 2010

Short notation in chemistry: HBOB for bis(oxalato)boric acid

Bis(oxalato)boric acid (HBOB) is an organoborate acid. It consists formally of a proton and a boron(3+) cation that is chelated by two bidentate ethanedioato (oxalato) ligands, each contributing two negative electronic charges.

HBOB has been studied as a mild acid catalysts in the living cationic polymerization of styrene in the ionic liquid N-butyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)amide [1]. The fact, that HBOB acts as an acid initiator in styrene polymerization under the investigated conditions, was substantiated by substituting the hydrogen of HBOB by a tetramethylammonium cation, producing the neutral salt tetramethylammonium bis(oxalato)borate (Me4NBOB), which did not exhibit any catalyst activity when used instead of HBOB.

Other salts of HBOB are also known, for example lithium bis(oxalato)borate (LiBOB) [CASRN: 244761-29-3].

HBOB also stands as an abbreviation for Honda Battle Of the Bands, Hanging Body Opponent Bag, and Hand Brushed Old Bronze [2].

Keywords: cationic polymerization of vinyl monomers, Lewis acids, catalyst recycling

[1] R. Vijayaraghavan and D. R. MacFarlane: Living cationic polymerisation of styrene in an ionic liquid. Che. Commun. 2004, 700-701. DOI: 10.1039/b315100j.

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