Professor Marcella Bonchio, University of Padova

marcellaMarcella Bonchio is Full Professor of Chemistry at the Department of Chemical Science of the University of Padova and Scientific Coordinator of National Council of Research, Institute of Membrane Technology, (ITM-CNR), section of PADOVA. She received the PhD degree in Physical Organic Chemistry in 1993, learning from her first Italian “maestri”: Giorgio Modena and Fulvio Di Furia, and later on with John O. Edwards at Brown University and with Jay Groves at Princeton University in the USA. She has published more than 120 papers on international peer reviewed Journals, with > 3600 citations (without self-citations) and an h-index of 38. She is involved in several National and EU-funded actions dealing with functional molecular systems. Her research interests focus on bio-inspired catalytic processes, functional nano-materials and reaction mechanisms. Her contribution in the field of molecular metal oxides deals with the design of new methods for the synthesis and self assembly of hybrid derivatives, their solution and solid state characterization, and the screening of their functional properties. A recent breakthrough concerns the finding of polyoxometalate-based nano-systems enabling efficient water splitting upon fast light-induced electron-transfer, moving one solid step toward the horizon of solar fuels

Lecture Synopsis: Natural Born Catalysts: Photocatalytic Water Oxidation by Molecular Metal Oxides

The oxygen-evolving complex of photosystem II (PSII-OEC) in green plants, algae and cyanobacteria, is the unique catalytic site where, upon illumination, H2O bonds are oxidized to form O2. The natural OEC is a tetramanganese-calcium-oxo cluster (Mn4O5Ca), harbored within the PSII complex, with a flexible and adaptive coordination environment provided by the protein residues. In particular, carboxylate ligands play a major role in the assembly of the OEC cluster, bridging Mn ions and the Ca2+ hetero-site. In order to mimic the PSII-OEC structure and activity, special attention has been dedicated to tetra-nuclear metal catalysts, including also Mn-based complexes. However, only few ruthenium or cobalt tetra-metallic cores have been recognized as competent oxygen evolving catalysts under photocatalytic conditions. We focus herein on a unique tetra-manganese core stabilized by a hybrid set of ligands, including an all-inorganic tungstosilicate platform and three acetate bridges. The resulting polyanion, [MnIII3MnIVO3(CH3COO)3(Aα-SiW9O34)]6- (Mn4POM), displays striking similarities with the natural OEC in its S0 state, vis-à-vis the Mn4-oxo structure and its MnIII/MnIV mixed-valency. Our results confirm that Mn4POM undergoes fast and multiple electron transfers under visible light irradiation, leading to water photo-oxidation and oxygen evolution. The structural analogy with the natural photosynthetic catalyst is thus nicely complemented by a unique functional behavior, which follows a bio-inspired mechanism

[1] A. Sartorel, M. Bonchio, S. Campagna, F. Scandola, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2013, 42, 2262.
[2] S. Piccinin, A. Sartorel, G. Aquilanti, A. Goldoni, M. Bonchio, S. Fabris, PNAS, 2013, 110, 4917.
[3] F. Paolucci, M. Prato, M. Bonchio et al. ACS Nano, 2013, 7, 811
[4] R. Al-Oweini, A. Sartorel, B. Bassil, M. Natali, S. Berardi, F. Scandola, U. Kortz, M. Bonchio Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 11182.

[5] M. Carraro, G. Licini, L. Trainotti, M. Bonchio, et al. J. Mat. Chem. B, 2015, 3, 6718.


gabrielecentiProfessor Gabriele Centi, University of Messina

Gabriele Centi is full professor of Industrial Chemistry at the University of Messina, Italy, and President of the European Research Institute of Catalysis (ERIC). Research interests are in the areas of applied heterogeneous catalysis, sustainable energy and chemical processes, biomass conversion and environment protection. He was coordinator of the EU Network of Excellence IDECAT, and is actually President of IACS (International Association of Catalysis Societies) and vice-President of the European Federation of Catalysis Societies (EFCATS). He was coordinator or PI in over twenty EU projects, besides many other national and industrial projects. He received several awards, and is involved in various editorial activities, between which chairing the editorial board of ChemSusChem and be co-editor in chief of Journal of Energy Chemistry. He is author of over 400 scientific publications, 10 books and editor of various special issues. Current h-index is 68 with about 17.000 citations (Google Scholar).

Lecture Synopsis: What opportunities are there in catalysis by solar driven chemistry?

Solar-driven chemistry indicates the general effort to develop the sustainable chemistry of the future based on the progressive decrease of the massive use of fossil fuels and the introduction of renewable energy in the value chain. It is thus a new vision for sustainable chemical production, and has a major impact also on catalysis. In fact, moving from the use of thermal energy (as currently in most of chemical processes) to the use of photon, electrons, radiations, etc., as necessary for addressing the challenge of solar-driven chemistry, requires to conceptually redesign catalysis. This lecture will discuss some examples in this directly and the related challenges, but will also evidence how this vision of “solar-driven chemistry” is a long-term innovative scientific and technological endeavour to achieve sustainable chemical production and a low-carbon society. A recent white paper on solar-driven chemistry has been produced by EuCheMS and DFG.


Professor Avelino Corma, Instituto de Tecnología Química (CSIC-UPV)

Avelino Corma picAvelino Corma, Professor at the Instituto de Tecnología Química (CSIC-UPV), has been carrying out research in heterogeneous catalysis in academia and in collaboration with companies for nearly 30 years. He has worked on fundamental aspects of acid-base and redox catalysis with the aim of understanding the nature of the active sites, and reaction mechanisms. With these bases have developed catalysts that are being used commercially in several industrial processes. He is an internationally recognized expert in solid acid and bifunctional catalysts for oil refining, petrochemistry and chemical process, especially in the synthesis and application of zeolite catalysts. He has published more than 900 research papers, and inventor on more than 130 patents. Corma earned his BS in Chemistry at Valencia University, PhD at Madrid under direction of Prof. Antonio Cortes, and spent two years postdoc at Queen´s University. He has received the Dupont Award on “Materials Science”, Ciapetta and Houdry Awards of the North American Catalysis Society, the F. Gault Award of the European Catalysis Society, the M. Boudart Award on Catalysis by the North American and European Catalysis Societies, the G. J. Somorjai ACS Award on Creative Catalysis, the Breck Award of the International Zeolite Association, the National Award of Science and technology of Spain, “Rey Jaume I” Prize for New Technologies (2000), the ENI Award on Hydrocarbon Chemistry, the Royal Society of Chemistry Centenary Prize, Solvay Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Prize for Science and Industry and Gold Medal for the Chemistry Research Career 2001-2010 in Spain, La Grande Médaille de l’Académie des sciences de France 2011 and Honour Medal to the Invention from the Fundación García Cabrerizo in Spain. Gold Medal Foro QUÍMICA y SOCIEDAD to all his research career, Gran Medaille of the Science French Academy, Edith Flanigen Lectureship, Eastman Lecture, Director´s Distinguished Lecture Series Pacific Northwest National Laboratory´s. Prince of Asturias Award for Science & Technology 2014, 48th W. N. Lacey Lectureship in Chemical Engineering-Caltech (2015) and The Jacobus van ‘t Hoff Lecture 2015 at TU Delft Process Technology Institute (2015), The Hoyt C. Hottel Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at MIT Chemical Engineering Department (2015), Spiers Memorial Award RSC (2016).
I “Doctor Honoris Causa” by Utrecht University (2006), UNED (2008), München Technological University (2008), Universidad Jaime I de Castellón (2008), Universidad de Valencia (2009), Bochüm University (2010), Universidad de Alicante (2010), Ottawa University (2012) Delft Technological University (2013) Jilin University (China) (2013), University of Bucarest (2014).

Lecture Synopsis: Designing oxidation, reduction and multifunctional green catalysts

The design and synthesis of mono and bimetallic metals ranging from few atoms to ≥ 1 nm particles will be described using one pot or two step procedures. The importance of the electronic properties of surface atoms and they ability to activate and stabilize different species will be described with emphasis on selective oxidation and hydrogenation catalytic process. Bifunctional acid/metal and base/metal catalysts will be presented that allow to carry out existing, as well as new chemical process, with much lower E factors.

Professor Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


Jan-Dierk Grunwaldt is full professor in chemical technology and catalysis at teh Karlruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He studied chemistry at the University of Hamburg and Newcastle upon Tyne until and received received his PhD from ETH Zürich in 1998. He then joined the Danishcatalysis and chemical engineering company Haldor Topsøe A/S as project leader in synchrotron radiation and applied catalysis, before moving back to academia in 2001 at ETH Zürich. In
2008, he became full professor in Chemical Engineering and Catalysis at the Technical University of Denmark. In 2010, he was appointed full professor at KIT where he is pursuing the development of new heterogeneous catalysts for power-to-gas processes, biomass conversion, energy-related catalysis, exhaust gas catalysis, and fine chemistry also in connection with supercritical CO2. Of particular focus are in situ and operando studies including studies at synchrotron radiation sources. He is author of more about 250 publications, has organized teh internation X-ray absorption spectroscopy conference XAFS16 with more than 550 participants in Karlsruhe and has received several awards, for example, the Jochen Block Award (DECHEMA, 2006), the Dale Sayers Award (International XAFS Society, 2006) and the Karl-Winnacker-Award (Aventis Foundation, 2007) and is appointed adjunct professor at DTU since 2010.

Lecture Synopsis: Understanding Catalysts under Fluctuating Reaction Conditions

In future, processes need to be more tolerant towards a varying supply of energy and raw materials. For example, in the German “Energiewende” more than 80% of the power is expected to stem from renewable energies, but this is especially on the availability of wind and solar power. This has tremendous consequences both for catalyst and reactor design because varying reaction conditions due to fluctuating supply of energy and reactants or due to shutting down or ramping up reactors will have a strong effect on the catalyst structure.
In recent years, it was found and especially proven by spectroscopy and microscopy that catalysts are very dynamic in their structure, i.e. they change their shape, they may change their structure (oxidation/reduction), sinter or even redisperse if the reaction conditions change. Most processes run under steady-state conditions, only a few under dynamic reaction conditions – among them especially exhaust gas catalysis for mobile applications. Hence, little is known yet and the structure of such catalysts needs to be identified under dynamic reaction conditions using operando spectroscopy. The examples chosen will demonstrate that this dynamics in structure has a strong impact on the reactivity. As this will be increasingly important for processes emerging within the energy transition, this will also have important consequences on future catalyst and reactor design. This has also been recently highlighted in a concept article: K.F. Kalz, R. Kraehnert, M. Dvoyashkin, R. Dittmeyer, R. Gläser, U. Krewer, K. Reuter, J.-D. Grunwaldt, ChemCatChem, doi:10.1002/cctc.201600996


Professor Emiel J.M Hensen, Eindhoven University of Technology

Emiel Hensen is full professor in inorganic chemistry and catalysis. He received his PhD from Eindhoven University of Technology in 2000 and has since then worked at the University of Amsterdam, Shell research in Amsterdam and Eindhoven University of Technology. He was appointed full professor in 2009. He has been awarded Veni, Vidi, Vici, Casimir and Top grants of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. His research focuses on the fundamental aspects of catalyzed reactions relevant to clean and sustainable processes for the production of fuels and chemicals with the aim to identify active sites and understand reaction mechanism. The working approach is to combine advanced in-situ characterization methods with theoretical modeling (DFT, microkinetics) and performance testing to guide the design and synthesis of nanoscopically organized and well-defined chemically functionalized catalytic solid materials. Catalytic target reactions are methane activation, the Fischer-Tropsch reaction, conversion of biogenic molecules such as sugars and lignin, and metal-support cooperativity in selective oxidation. Hensen has authored over 300 scientific publications and 10 book chapters and is holder of 2 patents. He is board member of the Dutch excellence gravitation program “Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC)”, chairman of the Netherlands Organization for Catalysis Research (NIOK) and board member of the European Research Institute on Catalysis (ERIC). Currently, he also serves as Dean of his department.

Dr. Mark Howard, Cardiff University

112 - 7 - CopyDr Mark Howard retired from BP in February 2015 after 31 years working in Technology across the oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors. From January 2010, he was Vice President for BP’s Conversion Technology Centre, reporting to the Head of Downstream Technology. His group of ~115 scientists and engineers, based in the UK and US, explored and developed advanced, thermochemical conversion technologies aimed at new business opportunities through BP projects and licensing to third parties. Particular areas of focus were unconventional feedstocks, including remote gas, coal, heavy oil, petroleum residues and biomass.

Dr Howard has a BSc (London) and PhD (Cambridge) in Physical Chemistry. He was a Research Fellow at Cambridge from 1980 to 1983 and spent a year as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota, researching gas phase reaction dynamics. Joining BP Research in Sunbury in 1984 to work on methane conversion, he moved to BP Chemicals R&D in Hull in 1991 as New Processes Branch Manager. Following a spell leading the Acetyls Business exploratory programme, he became Technology Manager for BP’s Solvents and Industrial Chemicals Business in 1997. He moved to the Upstream Segment in 2000 to lead the Liquefied Natural Gas Technology Teams in Sunbury and Houston. He then became Technology Unit Leader for ‘Global Gas’ in 2002, and then ‘Projects’ from 2003, within BP Upstream’s central technology organisation, responsible for up to 160 engineers and scientists. Dr Howard managed BP’s ‘Refinery of the Future Programme’ from 2008 to mid 2009, before a brief spell as Executive Assistant to the new Head of Technology for the Downstream Segment. He moved to his final BP role in 2010. He has been a Visiting/honorary Professor at the Universities of York and Sheffield, and is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of Cardiff.

Lecture Synopsis: Long term options for liquid fuels: how much will we need, and where might it come from?

Despite the rapid development of battery electric vehicles and the predicted acceleration of their market penetration, as well as other evolutions of the transport infrastructure, it remains likely that underlying growth in the desire for mobility will lead to substantial demand for liquid fuels to 2050 and beyond. Continued, long term reliance on fossil resources to meet the majority of this demand may be inconsistent with carbon budgets for limiting global temperature rise to 2oC or below.

Potentially ‘carbon neutral’ sources of liquid fuels include biomass, hydrogenation of captured or biogenic CO2, and perhaps non-carbon based liquid fuels. Although many potential sources may make a useful contribution, as some already do, most encounter limitations to their scale, especially if they are to be based on truly sustainable biomass resources. It therefore seems likely that a diverse set of solutions will need to be combined to meet the scale of future demand. In reviewing a selection of these options, this talk will highlight some of the technical challenges and explore the nature of the corresponding opportunities for new or improved catalysis that arise.

Professor Graham J. Hutchings, Cardiff Catalysis Institute, School of Chemistry, Cardiff University

Prof. Graham J. Hutchings FRS is Director of the CCI and Regius Professor of Chemistry at Cardiff University. During his initial industrial career with ICI Petrochemicals (1975-1981) and AECI Ltd (1981-1984) he pioneered the preparation of high activity gold catalysts. Since 1984 he has been involved in academic research in catalyst preparation and related topics of heterogeneous catalysis. He is PI on a portfolio of research projects funded by the EPSRC, ERC and industry. He has over 600 papers (h index 72, >24000 citations) and has received several international awards including the 2005 François Gault Lectureship of the EU Federation of Catalysis Societies, the 2011 France-GB Chemistry Prize, the 2012 Heinz Heinneman IACS Award and the 2013 Davy Medal from the Royal Society. He was elected FRS in 2009 and in 2010 he was elected to Academia Europaea and is a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.

Lecture Synopsis: Green hydrogenation catalysis with non-critical metal catalysts

The need to derive chemicals and fuels for biorenewable resources is becoming increasingly important for a sustainable future. It is likely that biomass processing will be a localised activity requiring a network of biorefinaries near to crop sources. Feedstocks based on lignocellulose will also be favoured to avoid competition with food production or to use its waste products. A critical step in the required chemistry is hydrogenation to remove unwanted oxygen functionality, upgrading intermediates to so called platform chemicals. A good example is the hydrogenation of levulinic acid to give gamma valerolactone (gVL). In our work under the NOVACAM project we have developed Cu based catalysts for this process and optimised the preparation method and reaction conditions to make these materials competitive with the more conventional supported Ru catalysts. We will show how a combination of experimental and theoretical insight has helped understand the operation of these catalysts and so optimise their design for efficient utilisation of active metal. We will also consider how the hydrogenation process can be integrated with the processing of lignocellulose from raw material to value added chemicals.


Dr. Kiyotaka Nakajima, Hokkaido University


Kiyotaka Nakajima received his PhD in Chemistry from Tokyo Institute of Technology (TokyoTech) in 2006 under supervision of Professor Takashi Tatsumi. After working with Dr. Shinji Inagaki at TOYOTA R&D Labs., Inc. (2006-2007) for the development of solar hydrogen production with the combination of novel metal nanoparticles and periodic mesoporous organosilicas, he joined Materials and Structures Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology as assistant professor to work with Professor Michikazu Hara (2007-2015). His primary focus was the development of sulfonated carbon and mesoporous transition metal oxides as stable and highly active solid Brønsted acid catalysts for biomass conversion. He extended his research interests to Lewis acid catalysis of metal oxides for sugar conversion, and started one project focusing on the development of heterogeneous Lewis acid catalysts for biomass conversion in JST (Japan Science & Technology) Agency, PRESTO. He was appointed in 2015 as associate professor at Catalysis Research Center, Hokkaido University and started working with Professor Atsushi Fukuoka. He is now a project leader in JST, ALCA, targeting on the production of carboxylic acids and alcohols from biomass-derived sugars. He received young researcher awards in 2012 (the Japan Petroleum Institute) and in 2015 (Catalysis Society of Japan).

Lecture Synopsis: Smart Biomass conversion with non-critical metal/metal oxide catalysts

Diminishing our dependence on fossil fuel resources has generated a strong demand for the development of new technologies that will enable sustainable and environmentally benign production of fuels and essential chemicals from renewable feedstock, represented by lignocellulose-based carbohydrates. Potentially this can be converted into a whole range of existing useful chemicals and fuels, and also into new and different chemicals as better alternatives. This lecture will integrate recent progresses of Japanese research groups in NOVACAM project for catalytic conversion of biomass-derived carbohydrates to furans, alcohols, and organic acids using non-critical metal/metal oxide catalysts. Efficient conversion of glucose to 5-(hydroxymethyl)furfural with phosphate/TiO2 will be highlighted as an example for chemocatalytic conversion of biomass-derived carbohydrate with an abundant metal oxide as a heterogeneous catalyst.

Professor Wataru Ueda, Kanagawa University


Professor Ueda is a professor of Kanagawa University. Since he received PhD degree from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1981, he has long devoted to creating new catalytic functions in complex metal oxides by making full use of solid structure chemistry and material composition chemistry. Through these works he established basic chemistry for new catalytic materials construction and for fundamental understanding of catalytic functions on the basis of catalyst structures, and also opened up the field of new reactions such as catalytic oxidation of alkanes or solid-acid catalysis for biomass reaction by the use of the new complex oxide catalysts that he developed. He is PI of various research projects supported by JSPS, JST, and companies for many years, and one of which is NOVACAM. For his scientific achievement, he received Catalysis Society of Japan award in 2010 and Japan Petroleum Institute award in 2012. In addition, he contributed to development and researcher upbringing of the catalyst chemistry as the presidents of Catalysis Society of Japan and Japan Petroleum Institute. He is currently a research supervisor of virtual research institute on Methane Innovative Catalyst Creation supported by JST under CREST program too.

 Lecture Synopsis: Structure unit-based design of complex metal oxide catalysts for biomass conversion

Development of new complex metal oxides with structure complexity, which is suitable for solid-state catalysis, is of great importance not only in fundamental catalysis researches but also in practical solid-state catalyst development. However, research examples on this purpose are not many, simply because of research difficulty. Here, complex oxide synthesis based on unit-networking, so called unit synthesis, will be introduced. This method was deduced from the research on porous crystalline Mo3VOx. During the structure formation process, Mo72V30-type polyoxometalate materials with pentagonal polyoxo units first form by the reaction of Mo and V compounds, followed by the transformation of this discrete Mo72V30-type compound to the layered slabs with keeping the pentagonal units (networking) but with differently connected together by interacting with VO2+ cations as a linker under hydrothermal condition. When different polyoxo-unit is used, different structure can be formed. At the same time different structure features like pore structure can be introduced. This unit-based design of metal oxides has been applied to other group V and VI elements and to other different polyoxo units to synthesize 3D and 1D compounds. Obtainable metal oxides and complex oxides have unique solid acid properties for biomass comversion.

Dr. Helge Wessel, European Commission

To register for the conference, visit https://greencatalysisbydesign.eventbrite.co.uk

Project Coordinator: Professor Emiel Hensen, E.J.M.Hensen@TUE.NL Project Manager: Dr Gabriela Dima, G.E.Dima@TUE.NL

NOVACAM is a coordinated EU-Japan project supported by the European Union and the Japan Science and Technology Agency. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 604319.