Scientific Programme


Plenary Lectures

 Sarah O'Connor      

  • Prof. Dr Sarah E. O'Connor, The University of East Anglia, School of Chemistry, Norwich, UK; Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology, Germany (group homepage)

Harnessing the chemistry of plants

Plants, which make thousands of complex natural products or specialized metabolites, are outstanding chemists: plants create incredible chemical complexity from simple starting materials. Medicinal plants are known to make molecules that can be used as medicines to cure cancer, pain and other diseases. Here we will highlight how plants make these molecules and how these biosynthetic pathways can be placed into an evolutionary and biological context. We will also discuss methods by which these pathways can be harnessed by metabolic engineering.


  • Dr Noemi Linares, Research Fellow at the Molecular Nanotechnology Lab of the Inorganic Chemistry Department at the University of Alicante, Spain (group homepage)

Discovery and commercialization of a new family of catalysts

The development of intracrystalline mesoporosity within zeolites has been a long-standing goal in catalysis as it greatly contributes to alleviate the diffusion limitations of these widely used microporous materials. In this contribution, I will present unprecedented insights on the formation of intracrystalline mesoporosity in zeolites by surfactant-templating recently obtained by in situ synchrotron X-ray diffraction and Liquid Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy (Liq-TEM). By combining experimental results and theoretical calculations, the presence of intracrystalline mesoporosity showing local hexagonal order was unambiguously confirmed. Moreover, through the observation of individual zeolite crystals by Liq-TEM, we are able to provide the first time-resolved visualization of the formation of mesoporosity in zeolites. The presence of this mesoporosity was further evidenced through ex situ gas adsorption, which also confirmed the preservation of most of the microporosity of the zeolites. All these new insights, obtained by combining a number of time-resolved techniques, are an example of the enormous potential of current in situ characterization methods for the rational design of hierarchical zeolites with superior properties and optimal catalytic performance as it has been proved at lab, pilot plant, and industrial scale.

Mesostructured zeolites show of the properties of conventional zeolites including crystallinity, microporosity, strong acidity and hydrothermal stability. The changes in the micropore volume of the mesostructured zeolite Y during the severe hydrothermal treatment steps described herein were similar in trend as those for conventional zeolite Y, but the mesoporosity is preserved even after deactivation. Mesostructured zeolites were also formulated with various matrix compositions into FCC microspheres (of ~ 70 micron in size) by spray drying. The catalysts, after being properly deactivated (e.g. at 788°C under 100% steam for 4 h), were tested on a fixed fluidized bed ACE testing unit with different feedstocks. The catalysts made from mesostructured zeolites produced significantly more gasoline and light cycle oil (transportation fuels), and less bottoms and coke. The improved product selectivity could be attributed to the mesostructure introduced into the zeolites that eased the diffusion limitation in the conventional zeolites.

In commercial operation, we observe a combination of improved coke selectivity while increasing feed rate allowed to achieve a significant increase in both LCO and gasoline production. The observed selectivity toward intermediates confirms that the introduction of intracrystalline mesoporosity shortens the diffusion path length and hinders the occurrence of secondary reactions. At the end of a particular commercial trial, the additional value that was delivered to the refinery by replacing the incumbent catalyst with the mesostructured USY containing FCC catalyst was estimated to be over US$2.50/bbl of the FCC feed.

The commercialization of surfactant-templated zeolites in FCC is an extraordinary example of academic entrepreneurship, which is expected to foster the development of new hierarchical zeolites and their use both in existing processes and new and exciting opportunities.


  • Prof. Dr Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, J. C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences and Director, Center for Macromolecular Engineering (group homepage)


Macromolecular Engineering by Taming Free Radicals

Macromolecular Engineering (ME) can be defined as a process comprising rational design of (co)polymers with specific architecture and functionality, followed by precise and efficient polymer synthesis and processing in order to prepare advanced materials with target properties. Preparative ME requires controlled / living polymerization. Radical polymerization could be very well suited for ME due to tolerance to many functionalities. Unfortunately, free radicals are difficult to be controlled, have very short life times (<1 s) and are involved in side reactions. Taming free radicals has been very challenging but was eventually accomplished via dynamic equilibria between minute amounts of free radicals and large pool of dormant species. Copper-based ATRP (atom transfer radical polymerization) catalytic systems with polydentate nitrogen ligands are among most efficient controlled/living radical polymerization systems. Recently, by applying new initiating/catalytic systems, Cu level in ATRP was reduced to a few ppm. ATRP of acrylates, methacrylates, styrenes, acrylamides, acrylonitrile and other vinyl monomers was employed for ME  of polymers with precisely controlled molecular weights, low dispersities, designed shape, composition and functionality. Examples of block, graft, star, hyperbranched, gradient and periodic copolymers, molecular brushes and organic-inorganic hybrid materials and bioconjugates prepared with high precision will be presented. These polymers can be used as components of various advanced materials such as health and beauty products, biomedical and electronic materials, coatings, elastomers, adhesives, surfactants, dispersants, lubricants, additives, or sealants. Special emphasis will be on nanostructured multifunctional hybrid materials for application related to environment, energy and catalysis.


Oral Presentations

Attendees selected by an expert panel will be able to present their work during a 15 minutes oral presentation. Parallel sessions are organised and they are divided into the following sessions: 

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry and Biotechnology
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Food Chemistry
  • Green and Sustainable Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Macromolecular Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Nuclear and Radiochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Organometallic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Solid State Chemistry


Poster Presentations

Two separate poster sessions are organised. Please keep a maximum poster size (A0 format) of 85cm (width) x 120cm (height).


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