Environment friendly spin-catalysis for dioxygen activation

Catalysis of controlled selective oxidation of hydrocarbons utilizing molecular oxygen, being of great potential for the environmental friendly chemical industry, has to be designed by analogy with biological enzymatic reactions. Catalysis of oxidation of hydrocarbons by paramagnetic dioxygen avoiding a classical free radical chain mechanism needs to overcome spin prohibition. Classification of spin catalysis in biological activation of dioxygen is presented in this review and discussed in connection with known industrial processes.