THE LABORATORY OF ORGANIC SYNTHESIS AND NANOCATALYSIS

Dr. Raed Abu-Reziq

Catalysis plays a central role in the chemical industry as it is reflected in the fact that more than 90% of industrial chemical transformations involve the use of catalysts. The importance of catalysis in not limited to the chemical industry, and it can also be applied in other areas such as energy production and environmental protection. There are two types of catalysis: homogeneous catalysis and heterogeneous catalysis. The homogeneous catalysts require mild operation conditions and they can usually offer excellent reactivity and high selectivity. However, this type of catalysts has limited application in the chemical industry due to difficulties in their separation and recovery, which can increase the costs of their application in industrial processes. On the other hand, the heterogeneous catalysts can be separated and recovered easily, although they need harsh operation conditions due to their reduced reactivity, and they usually lead to less selective transformations.

In our research we develop methods to create new catalytic nano-materials that can combine the advantages of homogeneous catalysis (reactivity and selectivity) as well as heterogeneous catalysis (recovery and recyclability). Some of these methods involve supporting organometallic complexes, metal nanoparticles or organocatalysts on magnetic nanoparticles. Additional methods involve the encapsulation of homogeneous catalysts in polymeric or inorganic nanoreactors that can be magnetically separable.  These new catalysts have a great potential to be applied in many industrial process.

 Current Research Projects:

1.      Ionic liquid-based nanoreactors.

2.      Combined metal nanoparticles and organometallic complexes supported on magnetic nanoparticles.

3.      Organocatalysts supported on dendrimerized magnetic nanoparticles.

4.      Catalytic solid lipid nano- and microparticles

5.      Chiral polymeric nanocapsules and their application in organocatalytic transformations.

6.      Bridging between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis: catalytic silica nanocapsules combined with continuous flow microreactors.

7.      Magnetically separable chiral mesoporous organosilica nanoparticles and their organocatalytic applications.

8.      Development of environmental-friendly sol-gel formulation for simultaneous slow-release of several pheromones.

TEM image of magnetically separable polymeric nanoreactors containing palladium nanoparticles

SEM image of catalytic periodic mesoporous organosilica nanospheres

 

SEM image of solid lipid microparticles (SLM) containing chiral catalysts

SEM and TEM images of silica microcapsules filled with ionic liquids

 

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