Synthesis, Catalysis and Reactivity (SYNCat)


Thematic line  – Synthesis, Catalysis and Reactivity (SYNCat)

Coordinator: Luísa Margarida Dias Ribeiro de Sousa Martins


Catalysis is currently one of the greatest contributions of Chemistry towards a sustainable development, with a relevant
significance to the welfare of Society. This thematic line aims to develop synthetic and catalytic strategies/processes towards products of
interest, under mild, sustainable and cost effective conditions, improving energy savings and selectivity (waste reduction) and thus
decreasing pollution. The research will extend from the molecular level (experimental and computational) to applications, covering
mostly chemistry and chemical engineering topics of homogeneous, heterogeneous and supported catalysis and metal mediated
synthesis, but also with intersections with biological and materials areas in the corresponding thematic lines.
By congregating groups with vast experience and complementary infrastructure and skills on discrete molecules, complex
materials and assemblies, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, this thematic line fits within the global strategy of CQE, following a
molecular design-synthesis-structure-properties-function chain. Groups 1, 2 and 11 are mainly experienced on synthesis and
homogeneous catalysis of coordination, organometallic and organic compounds within a chemical approach, whereas group 3 is
more focused on synthesis and catalytic applications of heterogeneous systems within a chemical engineering oriented
perspective. Moreover, groups 4 and 5 on bioinorganic and bioorganic compounds, Groups 6, 7 and 8 on environment, materials
and photophysics, group 9 on thermochemistry and Molecular Dynamics, and Group 10 on molecular thermophysics, have
significant overlaps with SYNCat.

PRIORITY TOPICS where relevant developments are expected include: Alkanes and unsaturated hydrocarbons (sustainable
functionalization, catalytic conversion and utilization); Carbon dioxide as raw material (catalytic production of fuels and chemicals);
Non-covalent interactions (applications in synthesis, materials, pharmacological and bio-inspired supramolecular systems);
Carbohydrates (reactivity and selectivity modulation); Multitarget-oriented drugs (design and development); Synthesis of materials
for energy and lighting applications; Catalysis under unconventional conditions (in ILs, scCO2, photocatalysis, plasma-assisted
catalysis); DFT studies for catalytic reaction mechanisms; MD modeling and characterization of new ionic liquids.

FURTHER OBJECTIVES include: The development of research human resources, including advanced training of young
researchers, e.g., participating in PhD programs ("Catalysis and Sustainability" (CATSUS); "Refining Engineering, Petrochemistry
and Chemistry" (EngIQ), with the collaboration of the industrial sector; "NMR Applied to Chemistry, Materials and Biosciences";
The promotion of outreach activities such as collaborations with the industry, the transfer of knowledge and technology or the
organization of international conferences on synthesis and catalysis (e.g. ICS 2018; 7th EuCheMS on N-Ligands, 2018; 22nd
ISHC, 2020).