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Research Interests


  • Transition Metal Catalyzed Transformations of (Poly)Alcohols, Sugars and Sugar Alcohols
  • Organometallic Chemistry: Design and Development of New Ionic Hydrogenation and Hydrogenolysis Catalysts
  • Biomass Conversion through Selective Deoxygenation
  • Fundamental and Policy Issues with Respect to Sustainable Systems

Research in the Schlaf Group aims to develop new synthetic methodologies for the selective transformation of hydroxyl functions in naturally abundant polyalcohols and monosaccharides using heterogeneous and rationally designed homogeneous transition metal catalysts.

Specifically we are interested in the

  • Controlled catalytic deoxygenation of sugars and sugar polyols to alkenes, alkanes, oxacycles and diols and triols as polymer components using hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis catalysts
  • Development of new ligands and hydrodeoxygenation catalysts with high stability in aqueous acidic media at elevated temperature.
  • Development of new hydrodeoyxgenation processes and reactions using these catalysts.
  • Development of analytical protocols for the quantitative analysis of the reaction mixtures resulting from these reactions.

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