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Innovative Catalysis and Small Molecule Activation: Toward 'Green' Chemistry (ICSMAGC)
Start date: Apr 1, 2012, End date: Mar 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"My proposed research projects will focus on sustainable Organic Chemistry, including various aspects of (Asymmetric) Catalysis as a ‘green’ key technology. This approach is relevant to the global mission of the European Union in that it aims at advancing fundamental science in view of a sustainable and environmentally friendly society.Significant further developments in the field of (Asymmetric) Catalysis rely on:(I) the discovery of innovative (chiral) catalysts,(II) the invention of unprecedented modes for the catalytic activation of strong bonds, and(III) the careful elucidation of the involved reaction mechanisms.In this context, my proposed research programs will contribute to the following exciting areas:(1) Exploration of (chiral) compounds bearing an element in its unusually low-oxidation or low-valent state, in order to develop innovative catalysts for (asymmetric) synthesis, e.g. unprecedented direct-type bond transformations. This approach saves resources and minimizes waste production.(2) Exploration of (chiral) potentially ambiphilic elements, displaying ‘switchable’ acid–base reactivity, for the catalytic activation of strong bonds in small molecules. This intriguing unexplored concept may be exploited in view of:(a) catalytic (asymmetric) reactions employing e.g. ‘molecular hydrogen’ and ‘carbon dioxide’ for effective ‘green’ material transformations;(b) ‘molecular hydrogen storage’;(c) ‘carbon dioxide fixation’.(3) Exploration of Organic Chemistry, particularly (Asymmetric) Catalysis, in water or alternative ‘green’ solvents (abundant & renewable), such as hydroxylated organic solvents (glycerol, propylene glycol, lactate esters), but also in view of uncovering unprecedented reactivities and unique selectivities."

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