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Start date: Apr 15, 2014, End date: Apr 14, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In the current IIF application, the candidate, Oleksii V. Gutov (1984, Ukraine) describes a 2-year postdoctoral project to be carried out in the group of Dr. Alexandr Shafir at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ), a leading European catalysis center in Tarragona, Spain. As a Marie Curie fellow at ICIQ, Dr. Gutov will apply his unique expertise in Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) field to the development of catalysts for the selective ethylene and ethanol upgrade, an area in urgent need of conceptually new catalytic materials, and where any advance could mean an important step towards Europe’s more sustainable (environmentally and economically) future. We aim at creating catalytic processes for selective conversion of low-value two-carbon feedstocks, ethanol and ethylene, into valuable longer-chain substances. State-of-the art examples include the d-metal-catalyzed upgrade of ethanol to 1-butanol, and the tetramerization of ethylene to 1-octene. The selectivity and efficiency in such processes is insufficient. We propose placing the catalyst within the pores/channels of a MOF, thus altering the selectivity via confinement effects. The approach (through varying the MOF structure) would give access to species currently unattainable, such as 1-hexanol (from ethanol) or 1-decene, as well as improve the selectivity/efficiency of the already existing processes. The research proposed requires deep understanding of both MOF materials and catalysis. Having previously gained valuable experience with MOFs with a leader in the field (prof. J. Hupp, Northwestern), the applicant will be uniquely positioned to undertake this cutting-edge investigation at an institution dedicated to catalysis. With notable exceptions, most of MOF research in Europe is centered on basic investigations, gas storage and separation. As a broader objective, adding MOF-based catalyst to this repertoire would help position Europe as a leader in sustainable chemistry and renewable energies

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