FineCat 2014 – Symposium on heterogeneous catalysis for fine chemicals

The 3rd FineCat Symposium will be held on 2-3 April 2014 in the Steri Palace, hall of Palermo’s University Rectorate, with plenary lectures from David Cole-Hamilton, Serge Kaliaguine, Paolo Fornasiero and Jose Antonio Lopez-Sanchez.

The conference is jointly organised by the Institute of Nanostructured Materials of Italy’s Research Council (CNR) and by Palermo’s University DEIM Department  and was born out of the 2011 Catalysis Science & Technology themed issue of ”Heterogeneous catalysis for fine chemicals” dedicated to Prof. Michele Rossi. It aims to provide opportunities for contact between academic and industrial researchers, manufacturers and users of solid catalysts for the efficient and selective production of fine chemicals.

The dealine for oral and poster abstracts is 3rd February 2014. Register now!

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Synthesis of cyclic carbonates catalysed by aluminium heteroscorpionate complexes

The potential of carbon dioxide to serve as a sustainable feedstock on an industrial scale is exemplified by the reaction of carbon dioxide with epoxides to form cyclic carbonates. These products possess commercial value as both solvents and electrolytes in lithium ion batteries. 

In their latest Catalysis Science & Technology article, Michael North of the University of York, UK, and Antonio Otero from the Universidad de Castilla La Mancha, Spain, and colleagues investigate using bi- and trimetallic aluminium heteroscorpionate catalysts to drive this carbonate synthesis. 

Heteroscorpionate aluminium complexThe authors subjected nineteen complexes to a screening process which involved successive elimination based on their initial reactivity towards styrene oxide. The catalysts differed in their nuclearities and included either alkyl or phenoxide ligands, in addition to having one or more bis-pyrazole ligands. They found that the bi- and trinuclear catalysts, in the presence of a tetrabutylammonium bromide co-catalyst, exhibited the highest conversions of monomer at 10 bar pressure and room temperature; thus, the authors subsequently tested these six complexes at 1 bar pressure. Among these, a trimetallic, alkyl aluminium complex gave complete conversion to styrene carbonate and was subjected to further optimization studies. 

The team of researchers also studied the effect of water on the reaction to elucidate the catalytically active species. They discovered that a small amount of water (0.75 mol % or less) produced no effect, pointing towards the presence of a partially hydrolyzed, oligomeric structure containing bridging aluminium units. Although ineffective for the transformation of more challenging internal epoxides, the optimized catalyst proved to be highly efficient towards a variety of terminal epoxides. By performing mechanistic studies, it appeared that the reaction follows first order kinetics, implying that cooperative catalysis between aluminium ions does not occur. 

This synergistic catalytic system, comprised of equimolar amounts of a trimetallic aluminium complex and tetrabutylammonium bromide, was determined to be the third most active catalyst for the synthesis of cyclic carbonates from terminal epoxides under ambient conditions. 

Read this Hot article now: 

Synthesis of cyclic carbonates catalysed by aluminium heteroscorpionate complexes
José A. Castro-Osma, Carlos Alonso-Moreno, Agustín Lara-Sánchez, Javier Martinez, Michael North, and Antonio Otero
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00810J 

This article is also part of the upcoming themed issue Catalytic Conversion and Use of Carbon Dioxide for Value-Added Organics - to be published Spring 2014.


Jenna Flogeras Jenna Flogeras obtained her M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton), Canada. She is currently working towards her Ph.D. at Memorial University of Newfoundland, under the supervision of Dr Francesca Kerton. Her research is focused on the synthesis of biodegradable polymers using main-group metal complexes as catalysts.
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Catalysis Science & Technology – celebrating a successful year

Last year we celebrated Catalysis Science & Technology’s first ever impact factor – 3.75. This signified the journal’s prominent entrance into the publishing arena; in which Catalysis Science & Technology has quickly established itself as a high impact journal for top quality catalysis research. We are delighted that the catalysis community also shares our sentiment for the journal, as evidenced by the increasing numbers of submissions from authors. In 2013, we published over 350 articles in print issues – 46 Communications, 290 full papers, 37 Perspective and Mini Review articles, and 3 Comments. A selection of our top-read review articles is shown below (Table 1).    

Table 1 Top downloaded 2013 Perspective and Mini Review articles   


Title Authors
Metal sulphide semiconductors for photocatalytic hydrogen production Kai Zhang and Liejin Guo  
New trends in the synthesis of crystalline microporous materials Giuseppe Bellussi, Angela Carati, Caterina Rizzo and Roberto Millini  
Catalytic activity of unsupported gold nanoparticles Yusuke Mikami, Amarajothi Dhakshinamoorthy, Mercedes Alvaro and Hermenegildo García  
Emerging catalytic processes for the production of adipic acid Stijn Van de Vyver and Yuriy Román-Leshkov  
Epoxidation of olefins with homogeneous catalysts – quo vadis? Simone A. Hauser, Mirza Cokoja and Fritz E. Kühn  


   

As Catalysis Science & Technology steps out of its infancy, quality is as strong a focus as ever. Our dedicated Associate Editors are integral to this goal. In our last Editorial we introduced Professor Tsunehiro Tanaka to the Catalysis Science & Technology team, as Professor Noritaka Mizuno stepped up to join Professor Piet van Leeuwen as Co-Editor-in-Chief. Authors can choose to submit to one of 4 Editorial Offices covering the breadth of catalysis science disciplines (Fig. 1).  

Fig. 1 Catalysis Science & Technology’s Associate Editors.

The Royal Society of Chemistry launched Catalysis Science & Technology to meet the community’s request for a society catalysis journal. In keeping with this and our worldwide readership, we strive to deliver content to benefit the entire catalysis community. Fig. 2 illustrates the diversity of subject areas that we publish, which is also reflected by our themed issues. In 2013, we published issues focusing on environmentally benign catalytic oxidation – guest edited by Alfons Baiker and Tamas Mallat; photocatalysis – guest edited by Licheng Sun and Kazunari Domen; and gold catalysis – guest edited by Graham Hutchings and Stephen Hashmi. We’re equally as excited by next year’s line-up which includes Catalytic Conversion and Use of Carbon Dioxide for Value-Added Organics – guest edited by Arjan Kleij; Sustainable Catalytic Conversions of Renewable Substrates – guest edited by Pieter Bruijinicx and Yuriy Román-Leshkov; and Mechanistic Studies in Catalysis – guest edited by John Brown, Andreas Pfaltz and Rutger van Santen. Two out of the three have an environmental-twist, and each will have representation from both homogeneous and heterogeneous author communities. 

 

 

Fig. 2 Subject area breakdown of Catalysis Science & Technology’s 2013 published articles.   

We know that it is our talented community that keeps quality consistently high so getting out of the office to meet people is a high priority for us. This past year, we enjoyed meeting with researchers at the 23rd North American Catalysis Society meeting; EuropaCat; the 20th EuCheMS conference on organometallic chemistry; the Organometallic Chemistry Gordon Research Conference as well as both of the ACS National Meetings. We were also proud to offer sponsorship at a number of these meetings in addition to providing several poster prizes.   

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s not-for-profit ethos extends beyond our journal communities – in 2012, over 60 of our member groups each received grants of £1000 to arrange events and activities to promote the chemical sciences. These had an international nature and ranged from workshops for migrant children in Beijing and a science fair on water chemistry in southern India to supporting chemistry education in tsunami-affected areas in Sri Lanka.   

By publishing with Catalysis Science & Technology, you’ll be supporting the wider scientific community and future generations of chemical scientists.   

Looking for a New Year’s resolution? Raise your profile and benefit your research through the Royal Society of Chemistry.   

Many happy returns for 2014!   

Fiona McKenzie and Jamie Humphrey
Deputy Editor & Managing Editor

  

Download the pdf here 

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HOT articles for December

These articles are HOT as recommended by the referees. And we’ve made them free to access for the next 4 weeks!

Synthesis of cyclic carbonates catalysed by aluminium heteroscorpionate complexes
José A. Castro-Osma, Carlos Alonso-Moreno, Agustín Lara-Sánchez, Javier Martínez, Michael North and Antonio Otero
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00810J

Graphical abstract

Free to access until 17th January 2014


Attractive interactions in olefin polymerization mediated by post-metallocene catalysts with fluorine-containing ancillary ligands
Akihiko Iwashita, Michael C. W. Chan, Haruyuki Makio and Terunori Fujita  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00671A

Graphical abstract

Free to access until 17th January 2014


Kinetics of cyclooctene hydroformylation for continuous homogeneous catalysis
Sabriye Güven, Bart Hamers, Robert Franke, Markus Priske, Marc Becker and Dieter Vogt  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00676J

Grap

Free to access until 17th January 2014


Glycol metalloporphyrin derivatives in solution or immobilized on LDH and silica: synthesis, characterization and catalytic features in oxidation reactions
Kelly A. D. F. Castro, Mário M. Q. Simões, M. Graça P. M. S. Neves, José A. S. Cavaleiro, Fernando Wypych and Shirley Nakagaki  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014,4, 129-141
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00472D 

Graphical abstract 

Free to access until 3rd January 


NiAl and CoAl Materials Derived from Takovite-like LDHs and Related Structures as Efficient Chemoselective Hydrogenation Catalysts
Constantin Rudolf, Brindusa Dragoi, Adrian Ungureanu, Alexandru Chirieac, Sébastien Royer, Alfonso Nastro and Emil Dumitriu
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014,4, 179-189
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00611E 

Graphical abstract 

Free to access until 3rd January 


Mild synthesis of Mesoporous silica supported ruthenium nanoparticles as heterogeneous catalysts in oxidative Wittig coupling reactions
Adela I. Carrillo, Luciana C. Schmidt, M. Luisa Marín and Juan C. Scaiano  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00773A

Graphical abstract

 

Free to access until 3rd January

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Poison or not poison… Another side to sulfur

Sara Coles is a guest web-writer for Catalysis Science & Technology. She currently works for Johnson Matthey in Royston, UK.


Sulfur is normally thought of as a catalyst poison – but a Perspective article in Catalysis Science and Technology, by Alan McCue and  James Anderson at the University of Aberdeen, UK, reports on a growing quantity of work suggesting that it can act as an activity promoter or selectivity modifier in heterogeneous catalysis.

Catalytic metals including rhodium, platinum and palladium are well known for being susceptible to sulfur as a poison, however the effect is perhaps not as simple as first perceived – it has been suggested that the effects of sulfur have a degree of long range character, indicating that a small quantity of adsorbed sulfur may have a disproportionate effect on catalytic properties.

Many industrial feedstockSchematic representation of how relative activity varies with approximate wt% sulfur per unit mass catalysts and even biomass derived feedstocks contain sulfur to some extent which may influence catalytic performance. With more than 100 references, this article may provide a useful source of further information on this very relevant topic.

The authors present examples from Fischer–Tropsch synthesis, catalytic reforming, regio- and chemoselective hydrogenation as well as CO oxidation, hydrocarbon oxidation and NOx reduction.

Find out more by reading the article:
Sulfur as a catalyst promoter or selectivity modifier in heterogeneous catalysis

Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00754E

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HOT articles for November

These articles are HOT as recommended by the referees. And we’ve made them free to access for the next 4 weeks!

Steam reforming of light oxygenates
Rasmus Trane-Restrup, Daniel E. Resasco and Anker Degn Jensen  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013,3, 3292-3302
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00635B

Graphical abstract

Free to access until 16th December 2013.


Heterogeneous catalysts based on supported Rh–NHC complexes: synthesis of high molecular weight poly(silyl ether)s by catalytic hydrosilylation
Guillermo Lázaro, Francisco J. Fernández-Alvarez, Manuel Iglesias, Cristina Horna, Eugenio Vispe, Rodrigo Sancho, Fernando J. Lahoz, Marta Iglesias, Jesús J. Pérez-Torrente and Luis A. Oro
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00598D

Graphical abstract

Free to access until 16th December 2013.


Dynamic behaviour of tantalum hydride supported on silica or MCM-41 in the metathesis of alkanes
Sophie Soignier, Guillaume Saggio, Mostafa Taoufik, Jean-Marie Basset and Jean Thivolle-Cazat  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00545C

Graphical abstract

Free to access until 16th December 2013.


Reactivity of C-H bonds of polychlorobenzenes in palladium-catalysed direct arylations of with aryl bromides
Liqin Zhao, Tao Yan, Christian Bruneau and Henri Doucet  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C3CY00757J

Free to access until 16th December 2013.

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Doubts put to rest: On a Quest for the real intermediates in Iron based Water Oxidation at low pH

It gives an absolute delight to the grey matter to imagine power generated from simple tap water. Power which could be supplied to our home and cars and thus put an end to the incessant use of fossil fuels. Yes friends, after the Bronze and Iron age, now it’s time for the Hydrogen age. The term “Hydrogen Economy” is gaining momentum and has the potential to do for the energy revolution what the computer and the Internet have done for the information revolution.

Among the various methods available for hydrogen production, water-splitting is one of the most promising approaches. Earlier, water oxidation catalysis have been performed efficiently with expensive, toxic and earth-scarce transition metals, but 3d metal-based catalysts are much less established. Fillol and Costas in their Nature Chemistry paper explored the use of environmentally benign and easily available iron coordination complexes for water oxidation with evident success. Their observation suggested that the iron complexes, when combined with Ce(IV) gets decomposed to iron oxides, which are, in fact, the main active catalysts for the water oxidation.

Substantial work by Tai-Chu Lau and group indicated that the actual catalysts for water oxidation are different at low and high pH values. It has been confirmed through various studies that at high pH, Fe2O3 is indeed the active metal catalyst, but researchers are still mystified as to what would be the intermediate at low pH. It has been speculated that the water oxidation at low pH goes through a molecular oxo-Fe active intermediate, as no evidence for Fe oxide formation has been obtained till date. The reason for this was given by Fillol and Costas, who proved that Fe (III) does not oxidize water in acidic conditions nor does it convert to Fe oxide. Another possibility that has been looming in the minds of the scientists is that FeO42- ions being strong oxidants can oxidize water in acidic conditions. But, scientists have shown that Ce(IV) is not capable of oxidizing Fe(III) to  FeO42-. So, It has been a matter of debate as to which is the real catalyst for low pH water oxidation: Is it FeO42- indeed? Or an oxo-Fe intermediate?

Water oxidation by iron complexes in presence of Ce(IV)

In this communication, a group of Iranian scientists have tried to answer this question and included it in their quest for a more effective iron-based water oxidation catalyst. Their work has substantial basis in the work done by Fillol and Costas whose one observation was the inability of Fe(III) oxohydroxo 2µ-(O,OH) diferric dimer to catalyze water oxidation. So, a question was posed by Mohammad Mahdi Najafpour and group if an Fe(III) complex with only one bridge (oxo {O} or hydroxo {OH}) can be a water oxidizing catalyst? And if FeO42- has any role in the whole process?

To answer the above two important questions, they synthesized an Fe(III) oxo diferric dimer with tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine (tpa) ligand with only one µ-O bridge, and tested the dimer for water oxidation in presence of  Ce(IV), and found it to be 6 times more active (measured in terms of TOF)  than the monomer reported by Fillol, Costas and workers. This provided a new insight into the mechanism, suggesting that a monomer might be just a precursor to the active catalyst which might be a di- or a multinuclear iron compound. The experiments prove that even if Fe ions convert to FeO42- in the presence Ce(IV), FeO42- cannot oxidize water catalytically, thus putting an end to the long lasting debate of FeO42- being an intermediate in these reactions.

Read more at:

A dinuclear iron complex with a single oxo bridge as an efficient water-oxidizing catalyst in the presence of cerium (IV) ammonium nitrate: New findings and current controversies
Mohammad Mahdi Najafpour, Atefeh Nemati Moghaddam, Davood Jafarian Sedigh and Malgorzata Holynska
Catal. Sci. Technol.,2013, Accepted Manuscript
DOI:
10.1039/C3CY00644A


Shreesha Bhat, Web Writer Shreesha Bhat is a M.S.(Pharm.) in Medicinal Chemistry from National Institute  of  Pharmaceutical Education and Research,  India. He has recently joined the research group of Dr. Pallavi Sharma as a PhD student at the  University of Lincoln, UK. His area of interests  include  chemical  synthesis of biologically important molecules  and developing newer methods for organic synthesis using novel catalysts.

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Lacunary silicotungstate catalyst turns trash to treasure

Biodiesel can be derived from oil found in animal and plant matter or even from recycled cooking oil. Much research has investigated the catalysis of the esterification and transesterification reactions needed to synthesize biodiesel. In this advance article, Patel and Narkhede contribute a novel catalyst towards the advancement of biodiesel as a competitive renewable energy source.

The authors used mono-lacunary silicotungstate supported on MCM-41, a mobile crystalline material hexagonal silicate, for the acid catalyzed esterification of oleic acid. They optimized the reaction up to 81% conversion with elevated temperature and prolonged reaction times. The researchers demonstrated the heterogenous catalyst could be reused in four iterative reactions without any appreciable loss in activity.

The transesterification of other oils including waste cooking oil, jatropha oil, sunflower oil, cotton seed oil and mustard oil was catalyzed in excellent yields. This catalyst is promising as an environmentally benign component of biodiesel production, though more research needs to be done to decrease the high catalyst loadings.

Click the link below to read more:

Biodiesel synthesis via esterification and transesterification over a new heterogeneous catalyst comprising lacunary silicotungstate and MCM-41
Anjali Patel and Nilesh Narkhede

Tien Nguyen is working towards her PhD in David Nicewicz’s research group at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. Her current area of research focuses on anti-Markovnikov hydroamination of alkenes using photoredox catalysis.

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Top Ten most accessed Catalysis Science & Technology articles from July to September 2013

Between the months of July to September, the following articles are in the Top Ten most accessed:

Graphene-based materials for catalysis
Bruno F. Machado and Philippe Serp
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2012,2, 54-75
DOI: 10.1039/c1cy00361e

Copper N-heterocyclic carbene complexes in catalysis
Jonathan D. Egbert, Catherine S. J. Cazin and Steven P. Nolan
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013,3, 912-926
DOI: 10.1039/c2cy20816d

Epoxidation of olefins with homogeneous catalysts – quo vadis?
Simone A. Hauser, Mirza Cokoja and Fritz E. Kühn  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013,3, 552-561
DOI: 10.1039/c2cy20595e

Recent advances in the photocatalytic CO2 reduction over semiconductors
Jin Mao, Kan Li and Tianyou Peng  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013,3, 2481-2498
DOI: 10.1039/c3cy00345k

Aminopropyl coated on magnetic Fe3O4 and SBA-15 nanoparticles catalyzed mild preparation of chromeno[2,3-d]pyrimidines under ambient and solvent-free conditions
Hamid Reza Shaterian and Morteza Aghakhanizadeh  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013,3, 425-428
DOI: 10.1039/c2cy20543b

Metal sulphide semiconductors for photocatalytic hydrogen production
Kai Zhang and Liejin Guo
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013,3, 1672-1690
DOI: 10.1039/c3cy00018d

Metal organic frameworks as heterogeneous catalysts for the production of fine chemicals
Amarajothi Dhakshinamoorthy, Maksym Opanasenko, Jiří Čejka and Hermenegildo Garcia  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013,3, 2509-2540
DOI: 10.1039/c3cy00350g 

Challenge and progress: palladium-catalyzed sp3 C–H activation
Hu Li, Bi-Jie Li and Zhang-Jie Shi  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2011,1, 191-206
DOI: 10.1039/c0cy00076k

Catalytic activity of unsupported gold nanoparticles
Yusuke Mikami, Amarajothi Dhakshinamoorthy, Mercedes Alvaro and Hermenegildo García
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2013,3, 58-69
DOI: 10.1039/c2cy20068f

Design of hierarchical zeolite catalysts by desilication
Danny Verboekend and Javier Pérez-Ramírez  
Catal. Sci. Technol., 2011,1, 879-890
DOI: 10.1039/c1cy00150g

Please leave any comments or thoughts on these articles in the comment box below.

Do you have an article you would like to submit to Catalysis Science & Technology? If so, why not submit to us here today!

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Call for Papers: 2014 themed issues

Catalysis Science & Technology We are delighted to announce that Catalysis Science & Technology will be publishing two themed issues focusing on environmental catalysis in 2014. We welcome your submissions, so read on for details:

Catalytic Conversion and Use of Carbon Dioxide for Value-Added Organics–deadline 1st December 2013

Sustainable Catalytic Conversions of Renewable Substrates–deadline 11th February 2014

Issue scopes

Catalytic Conversion and Use of Carbon Dioxide for Value-Added Organics
Guest edited by Professor Arjan Kleij, this issue will highlight developments in the field of catalytic conversion and use of carbon dioxide into higher value organic compounds.

Sustainable Catalytic Conversions of Renewable Substrates
Guest edited by Professor Yuriy Román-Leshkov and Professor Pieter Bruijnincx, this issue will contain contributions on topics related to catalytic biomass conversion methods, including homogeneous, heterogeneous and enzymatic processes.

Want to submit?

All types of manuscript—communications, full papers, Minireviews and Perspectives, will be considered for publication. The manuscript should be prepared according to our article guidelines and submitted via our online system.

All manuscripts will be subject to the normal refereeing procedure and inclusion in the themed issue will be at the discretion of the Guest Editors. Please indicate in your submission that you would like the manuscript to be considered for this themed issue.

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