Archive for the ‘Board News’ Category

Obituary: István T. Horváth (1953-2022)

The green chemistry community is mourning the loss of István T. Horváth, founder of the field ‘fluorous biphase catalysis’ and early pioneer in the field of renewable resources and green chemistry.

Professor István T. Horváth was born in Budapest, Hungary, on August 6, 1953. He studied chemistry at the Petrik Lajos Chemical Technical School in Budapest and at Veszprém University of Chemical Engineering, Veszprém, Hungary (now University of Pannonia), where he received his M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering (1977) and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (1979). Subsequently, he was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry, Veterinary University, Budapest (1979–1981) and a Research Engineer at Chinoin Ltd. in Budapest (1981).

Horváth then switched continents for the first of five times in his career. This brought him to Yale University, where he joined the group of Prof. Richard D. Adams as a Postdoctoral Research Associate (1982–1984). During this productive period, he worked on the preparation and characterization of osmium clusters. Adams and Horváth co-authored a remarkable 20 papers in 32 months. Horváth returned to Europe in 1984 to spend three years at the ETH Zürich with Professors Piero Pino and György Bor.

This was followed by another transatlantic move as he assumed a position at the Corporate Research Laboratories of Exxon (now ExxonMobil) in Annandale, New Jersey. This immensely productive phase of his career lasted more than ten years (1987–1998) and brought him international visibility. As an independent investigator Horváth became internationally recognized for using in situ spectroscopic techniques (especially NMR and IR) to elucidate mechanistic questions of important chemical transformations and uncover key reaction intermediates. A significant achievement was the spectroscopic observation of the formyl cation in the condensed phase, published in 1997 in Science. Beside important discoveries in reaction monitoring, Horváth was among the first to advocate the use of in situ spectroscopy to attain molecular level understanding chemical of reactions, especially focusing on the development of greener processes.

Furthermore, his Science paper published in 1994, established the basic principles of fluorous biphase chemistry, which lead to the development of more efficient multiphase catalytic processes and novel catalyst immobilization approaches in the following decades.

In 1999, he returned to Hungary, was appointed professor in 2001, and continued his research in the field of green chemistry and in situ spectroscopy at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest until 2008. During this time he devoted attention to the catalytic conversion of renewable resources, which led to the development of the idea of a gamma-valerolactone economy.

Between 2009 and 2020 he was a Chair-Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biology, City University of Hong Kong where he also acted as department head for 6 years. Here he first introduced the Ethanol Equivalent and Sustainability Index for the measurement and evaluation of sustainability.

He returned to Hungary in 2020 and continued his work at the Department of Chemical and Environmental Process Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics.

His contribution was acknowledged by more than 25 international prizes and awards, including the Humboldt Research Award (2006), and the Exxon Golden Tiger Award (1991). He was member of the European Academy of Science (2020), Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Washington DC, USA, 2016), Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2014), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2013), Honorary Member of the National Academy of Sciences Literature and Arts of Modena, Italy (2010). He became an external member of the Hungarian Academy of Scienes in 2019.

István is well-remembered for his organization of highly successful scientific events with a unique style. In fact, he organized and managed more than 45 international scientific meetings including Gordon Conferences and regular meetings of the homogeneous catalysis community, such as ISHC.

He was  an intelligent and knowledgeable supervisor and highly supportive mentor who always encouraged his students and colleagues to leave their comfort zones and aim for fundamental scientific discoveries. He could be tough at times but was always fair, and argued by the facts when it came to science. He graduated numerous PhD students and post-docs, the vast majority of whom are still pursuing research in green chemistry or closely related areas. A good overview of his scientific career can be found in the special issue of ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acssuschemeng.8b03138) published in 2016 on the ocassion of his 65th birthday.

To us, first and foremost István was a mentor who had a profound influence on our scientific training, shaped our way of thinking and guided our carrer as green chemist.

István was a one-of-a-kind ’molecular designer’ – a brilliant scientist, who would always follow a unique and pioneering path. A special personality: warm, funny, bold and unrelenting – he continuously questioned the status quo and spoke his mind… and was willing to stand up for what he believed to be the truth, for the benefit of the whole comunity. He will be tremendously missed.

Prof. Laszlo T. Mika, Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Prof. Katalin Barta, University of Graz

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Green Chemistry research nominated as a finalist for the 2019 German Future Award

On 11 September 2019, the use of CO2 as raw material for the production of polyurethane polymers was nominated as one of three finalists to be considered for the German Future Award.

 

The research carried out by a team including Professor Walter Leitner, Advisory Board member and previous Editorial Board Chair of Green Chemistry, shows how carbon dioxide can be transformed into a component for plastics and fuels.

 

Professor Leitner is delighted to see that green chemistry is being recognised and celebrated in this way, and shares that the scientific basis for the innovation has featured prominently in two Green Chemistry papers:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) as sustainable feedstock for polyurethane production
Langanke, A. Wolf, J. Hofmann, K. Böhm, M. A. Subhani, T. E. Müller, W. Leitner and C. Gürtler
Green Chem., 2014, 16, 1865-1870. DOI: 10.1039/C3GC41788C

 

 

Life cycle assessment of polyols for polyurethane production using CO2 as feedstock: insights from an industrial case study
Niklas von der Assen and André Bardow
Green Chem., 2014, 16, 3272-3280. DOI: 10.1039/C4GC00513A

 

 

The German Future Award is the highest national distinction for innovation in Germany and will be awarded on 27 November 2019 in Berlin, in presence of the President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

 

Find out more and read the Press Releases here:

Covestro: https://press.covestro.com/news.nsf/id/BFWFVX-In-the-finals-for-the-German-Presidents-Award?

RWTH Aachen: https://www.rwth-aachen.de/cms/root/Die-RWTH/Aktuell/Pressemitteilungen/September-2019/~dmqpe/Kreis-der-Besten-um-den-Deutschen-Zukunf/lidx/1/

Max Planck Institute: https://www.mpg.de/13876376/in-the-finals-for-the-german-future-prize

 

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ISGC, the International Symposium on Green Chemistry, La Rochelle, May 13th-17th 2019

ISGC, the International Symposium on Green Chemistry, will be held in La Rochelle – France, May 13th-17th 2019. There will be 11 topics, plenary lectures, 260 oral communications and 40 industrial communications, 1000+ participants (academic institutions and private industry).

The main objective of ISGC-2019 is to gather the most eminent scientists involved in the field of green chemistry to debate on the future challenges of Chemistry keeping in mind the problems of access to a sustainable energy, the management of resources (carbon, water, metals, minerals), Human development, global warming, impact on the environment, competitiveness of our Industry. New in 2019, ISGC will also aim at improving public perception and awareness on sustainable chemistry through the organization of general conferences. Raising awareness and progressively educating our society on the issues surrounding sustainable development has become a priority to accelerate the emergence of eco-designed chemicals, technologies or services on the market.

Join our Green Chemistry Editorial Board to celebrate 20 years of the journal at the Green Chemistry 20th anniversary symposium

For more information please see www.isgc-symposium.com

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Haryana Vigyan Ratna (Science Jewel) Awarded to Rajender Varma

Green Chemistry is delighted to learn that Editorial Board member, Rajender Varma was awarded the Haryana Vigyan Ratna (Science Jewel) on 28th February 2019.

Haryana State Council For Science & Technology introduced the Haryana Vigyan Ratna Award for eminent scientists of Haryana. These awards have been instituted to honor eminent scientists of Haryana who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of science & technology.

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Killam Research Fellowships – Congratulations to winner Chao-Jun Li

The Royal Society of Chemistry is delighted to announce that Green Chemistry Associate Editor Chao-Jun Li as one of this year’s recipients of the 2018 Killam Research Fellowships, awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts.

This year’s honorees, chosen by a selection committee of their peers, have pioneered some of the world’s forefront cultural, medical and scientific discoveries to date. From understanding language acquisition in infants to revolutionizing the way we look at the universe, documenting cultural and technological milestones to improving the quality of life for those living with disease or ailments, this year’s Killam recipients have made it their mission to find solutions that positively change and better the lives of millions of Canadians and beyond. In fact, these recipients have not only dedicated their careers to making ground-breaking discoveries, but they are teaching and inspiring the future generations of leaders in their field.

Congratulations to Professor Li for winning this prestigious award!

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Introducing new Green Chemistry Editorial Board member: François Jérôme

François Jérôme, University of Poitiers, France

François received his PhD degree in chemistry from the University of Burgundy (France) in 2000 in the group of Prof. R. Guilard. Then, he moved as a postdoc to the University of California of Davis (USA) and the group of Prof. K. M. Smith followed by a second postdoctoral position at the University of Rennes 1 under the guidance of Prof. P. H. Dixneuf where he worked on ruthenium-catalyzed reactions. In 2002, he joined the CNRS as a permanent researcher in the Laboratoire de Catalyse en Chimie Organique located at the University of Poitiers. In 2011, he was promoted as a CNRS research director at the Institut de Chimie des Milieux et Matériaux de Poitiers. In 2015, he created the research federation INCREASE, hosted by the CNRS, gathering scientists from academia working together with chemical companies on the design of sustainable chemicals.

He is now deputy of the Institut de Chimie des Milieux et Matériaux de Poitiers, member of the executive committee of the French division of Catalysis and chairman of the International Symposium on Green Chemistry (ISGC); editions 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.

His main research interests concern the development of technologies capable of activating and converting concentrated feed of renewable polyols (glycerol, mono- and polysaccharides) to specialty chemicals.

 

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New Green Chemistry Editorial Board Member: Tao Zhang

We are delighted to welcome Professor Tao Zhang as our newest Editorial Board member.

Tao Zhang, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Professor Tao Zhang received his PhD in 1989 from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). After one year at the University of Birmingham as a post-doctoral fellow, he joined DICP again in 1990 where he was promoted to a full Professor in 1995. He was the Director-General of DICP from 2007 to 2016. His research interests are mainly focused on the catalytic conversion of biomass and single-atom catalysis. He has won many important awards, such as the National Invention Prize, Distinguished Award of CAS, Excellent Scientist Award of Chinese Catalysis Society, Zhou Guangzhao Award, and HLHL Prize. Professor Tao Zhang is the author or co-author of more than 400 peer-reviewed scientific publications and 110 patents. He was elected as an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2013 and was appointed as the Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2016.

Read some of Professor Zhang’s latest research here:

Sustainable production of pyromellitic acid with pinacol and diethyl maleate
Yancheng Hu, Ning Li, Guangyi Li, Aiqin Wang, Yu Cong, Xiaodong Wang and Tao Zhang
Green Chem., 2017, 7, 1663-1667. DOI: 10.1039/c6gc03576k

Production of renewable 1,3-pentadiene from xylitol via formic acid-mediated deoxydehydration and palladium-catalyzed deoxygenation reactions
Ruiyan Sun, Mingyuan Zheng, Xinsheng Li, Jifeng Pang, Aiqin Wang, Xiaodong Wang and Tao Zhang
Green Chem., 2017, 3, 638-642. DOI: 10.1039/c6gc02868c

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New Green Chemistry Editorial Board Member: Keiichi Tomishige

We are delighted to welcome Keiichi Tomishige as our newest Editorial Board member.

Keiichi Tomishige, Tohoku University, Japan

ORCiD orcid.org/0000-0003-1264-8560

Keiichi Tomishige received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from Graduate School of Science, Department of Chemistry, The University of Tokyo. Following his Ph.D. course in 1994, he moved to the Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo as a Research Associate. In 1998, he became a Lecturer, and moved to the Institute of Materials Science, University of Tsukuba in 2001. In 2004 he became an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Tsukuba. Since 2010, he has been a Professor at the School of Engineering, Tohoku University.

His research interests are the development of heterogeneous catalysts for:

1) the production of biomass-derived chemicals,
2) direct synthesis of organic carbonates from CO2 and alcohols,
3) steam reforming of biomass tar.

 

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New Green Chemistry Associate Editor: Alessandra Quadrelli

We are delighted to welcome Dr Elsje Alessandra Quadrelli as our newest Green Chemistry Associate Editor.

Alessandra Quadrelli, CNRS and ESCPE Lyon, France

ORCiD http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8606-1183

Alessandra is the CNRS director of research in the “Surface organometallic chemistry” team of the C2P2 laboratory in Lyon (France). Her research in the C2P2 unit, under triple tutelage CNRS CPE and Université de Lyon 1, focuses on gaining molecular understanding of the interaction between organometallic precursors and solid surfaces, such as silica and more recently, metal organic frameworks and 2D supports, in route to heterogeneous catalysts and functional materials. As chairwoman of the Sustainability Chair of Chemical, Physics and Electronic Engineering School CPE Lyon, she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses an organizes the biyearly international conference “CO2 Forum” on large scale carbon dioxide utilisations”.

As a Green Chemistry Associate Editor, Alessandra will provide her expertise in particular in the fields of:

  • Surface organometallic chemistry
  • Supported catalysis
  • Inorganic oxides
  • MOFs
  • Small molecule activation

Submit your best green chemistry work in these areas to Alessandra now.

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New Green Chemistry Editorial Board Members: Michael Meier and Rajender S. Varma

We are delighted to welcome Dr Rajender S. Varma and Professor Michael Meier to the Green Chemistry Editorial Board.

Michael Meier, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Michael Meier is full professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT, Germany) since 2010. He received his diploma degree (M.Sc.) in chemistry in 2002 from the University of Regensburg (Germany) and his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Ulrich S. Schubert from the Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands) in 2006. His research interests include the sustainable use and derivatization of renewable resources for polymer chemistry as well as the design of novel highly defined macromolecular architectures.

Rajender S. Varma, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USA
Rajender S. Varma was born in India and received his Ph.D. from Delhi University, 1976. After postdoctoral research at Robert Robinson Laboratories, Liverpool, U.K., he was faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine and Sam Houston State University prior to joining the Sustainable Technology Division at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1999 with an adjunct appointment at Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. He has over 40 years of research experience in management of multidisciplinary technical programs and is extensively involved in sustainable aspects of chemistry that include photocatalysis, synthesis, environmental sciences, and development of environmentally benign synthetic methods using alternate energy input using microwaves, ultrasound, mechanochemistry, etc.; efficient technologies for greener remediation of contaminants; and environmental sciences. Lately, he has focused on greener approaches to assemble nanophotocatalysts and sustainable applications of magnetically retrievable nanophotocatalysts in benign media.

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