Metal nanoparticles for Eco-responsible processes
Keywords: Nanoparticles, metal, supported nanocatalysts, sustainable catalysis, Water.
Nanocatalysts, located at the frontier between usual homogeneous complexes and heterogeneous catalysts, preserve the advantages of both systems and constitute unavoidable tools for a ‘green’ future. The research in our group deals with the synthesis of metal nanoparticles of controlled sizes and their applications in polyphasic catalysis. The activities are mainly focused on nanomaterials composed of noble or earth-abundant first row transition metals and/or metal oxides, their organization, distribution and shape control in solution as well as their surface reactivity.
The originality of our chemistry relies on the synthesis of surfactant-stabilized aqueous suspensions of metal nanocatalysts, generally defined as particles between 1 and 10 nm in size which could directly be used in pure biphasic liquid-liquid systems or deposited on inorganic, magnetic and mesoporous supports as well as expanded porous glassy materials.
Our research activities are directed towards applications in polyphasic catalysis. All sustainable catalysts were investigated in a large range of applications such as hydrogenation and/or dehalogenation, C-C coupling in liquid or gas phases.
Aqueous suspensions of metal nanoparticles have been successfully applied for the multigram-scaled upgrading of terpenic renewables. The use of materials based on glass foam doped with our metallic nanoparticles for gas-phase hydrogenation, for the treatment of indoor air via oxidative processes or for the remediation of VOCs from the automotive industry has been currently developed in our laboratory.
Design and synthesis of selectives complexes for olefin and alkyne metathesis
Keywords: Olefin metathesis, Ruthenium, NHC, Z-selectivity
Olefin metathesis is one of the most powerful methodologies for the formation of C-C double bonds, with tremendous successes in numerous fields of application, including natural product synthesis, oleo-chemistry and material science. Driven by the discovery of new ruthenium catalysts with improved performances, our group is involved in the exploration of new types of complex architectures, with the objective of proposing innovative solutions addressing specific issues relating to sustainable chemistry. Thus, a library of eco-efficient and highly selective Ru-complexes was developed and successfully applied in various transformations, often industrially relevant. Alkyne metathesis catalyzed by Mo and W-complexes is also being studied to provide highly valuable polyynes.
Olefin Metathesis for biomass transformation
Keywords: Olefin metathesis, Ruthenium, Oleochemistry, Continuous Flow
The production of bio-based building blocks from renewable raw materials has become one of the major challenges of the 21st century due to the inescapable rarefaction of fossil resources. To address this concern, olefin metathesis represents an efficient catalytic tool to convert olefins from biomass into molecules of interest, while guaranteeing a very low carbon footprint. In this context, we developed various eco-efficient and highly selective Ruthenium-based catalytic processes (including pilot scale) enabling to transform non-refined fatty esters, wood wastes and terpenes into valuable molecules such as pheromones, fragrances, monomers for materials or precursors of plasticizers and lubricants. Continuous flow processes are also being studied to ensure a more eco-efficient and safer production.
Design and synthesis of chiral NHCs and their related TM-complexes for enantioselective catalysis
Keywords: NHC, CAA(r)C, Copper, Enantioselectivity
Due to their unique topology and a highly modular steric environment around the metal, chiral N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) rapidly emerged as powerful stereo-directing ligands for a wide range of Transition Metal (TM)-catalyzed transformations. In this context, we designed the first chiral hydroxyalkyl-NHCs, which gave excellent enantioselectivities (up to 99% ee) in copper-catalyzed enantioselective alkylation involving Zn-, Mg-, and B-based reagents. Thus, numerous enantioenriched building-blocks were produced in high yields and used in the synthesis of natural molecules. Currently, we are involved in the development of original C1 and C2-symmetric TM-complexes from prochiral NHCs as well as from chiral Cyclic(Alkyl)(Amino)Carbenes (CAACs).