EOS Excellence of Science program, 2022-2025

Vera Meynen is a part of the project PHOSPHORE: Mastering metal-PHOSphonate properties in PORE-size engineered catalysts for bio-refinery processes. The pursuit of recovering bio-renewable chemicals from biomass waste is a key aspect in the sustainable resource management targets, put forward in the European Green deal. However, converting these natural waste streams to useful target molecules requires high-performance catalysts with tunable surface groups, porosity and extraordinary stability in the demanding bio-refinery conditions. The reproducible wet-chemical synthesis and structural control of these catalysts forms the central challenge of the PHOSPORE project. 

FWO bioeconomy call, 2022-2023

Prof. Bert Maes is a coordinator of the collaborative project MUCOFORM. In collaboration with Bio Base Europe and KU Leuven non-food sugars from waste biomass such as recycled cardboard, corn stover or brewery waste streams will be transformed into platform molecules, which can serve to produce chemical building blocks for polymers such as PET and for many other (new) applications.This project is funded by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) of the European Union.

Moonshot program, 2022-2025

AC2GEN stands for "Acrylates from 2nd generation sugars: a powerful combination of fermentation, catalysis, and CO2 recycling". AC2GEN consortium which involves reserachers from KULeuven, UAntwerpen, BioBased Europe Pilot Plant and VITO will develop new ways to make acrylates from waste biomass via a combination of biotechnolgical and chemical processes, targeting unprecedented carbon efficiency.

Moonshot program, 2021-2024

Tom Breugelmans coordinates, and Pegie Cool and Vera Meynen are involved as partners  in the SBO project SYN-CAT: Synergetic Design of Catalytic Materials for Integrated Photo- and Electrochemical CO2 Conversion. The objective of the project is to combine photo- and electrochemistry into a photo-electrocatalytic approach to convert CO2 into methanol. The approach herein lies on developing more active and stable photo-electrocatalytic materials compared to the state-of-the-art and to improve productivity of the photo-electrochemical reactor, targeting an energy efficiency of 30% with an outlook for further upscaling.

iBOF call, 2021-2024

Prof. Bert Maes is a partner of the project NextBIOREF - New Generation of Lignocellulose Biorefineries bringing together scientists of Leuven, Gent and Antwerp. Utilization of biomass as a renewable feedstock to chemicals/materials is expected to become a key driver towards a future sustainable society. Next-BIOREF strives to understand fractionation of lignocellulose into lignin oil and pulp, and their transformation into chemicals/materials.

Moonshot program, 2020-2023

Pegie Cool is a partner in the ARCLATH (Artificial clathrates for safe storage, transport and delivery of hydrogen) project which aims to develop a radically new hydrogen transportation and storage concept based on clathrates. ARCLATH-1 has already provided a proof of concept showing that hydrogen can indeed be encapsulated in clathrates under technically and economically relevant conditions, in terms of both pressure and temperature.A follow-up project ARCLATH-2 will now maximise the hydrogen storage capacity of these clathrates.

Moonshot program, 2020-2023

Tom Breugelmans is a partner in the CAPTIN (Intensification of CO2 capture processes) project which seeks to overcome technological limitations in CCU technologies by intensifying CO2 capture processes. CAPTIN-1 identified a series of challenges that require further investigation. In the follow-up project CAPTIN-2, these challenges will be tackled using experimental test devices and models developed in the initial project. 

Moonshot program, 2020-2021

To improve the characteristics of plastics, additives (such as plasticizers, antioxidants, UV stabilizers and flame retardants) are often added. The PADDL (Polymer Additives from Lignin Building Blocks) project seeks to design new biobased additives for plastics and aims to enable the shift towards renewable raw materials. Moonshot is a research and innovation program of the Flemish government aimed to enabling Flanders’ transition to the circular, low-carbon chemical industry.

FWO SBO project, 2019-2023

PlasMaCatDESIGN is a research consortium that aims to develop design rules for (catalytically activated) packing materials to enhance plasma-activated gas phase conversion reactions to basic chemicals. By understanding the material - properties – activity correlation we target enhanced conversion, selectivity and energy efficiency of plasma driven chemical production for two selected industrially and environmentally relevant model reactions in which plasma catalysis can have specific advantages: selective CO2 conversion towards C1-C5 (oxygenated) hydrocarbons and N2O degradation.

RespiriTB and RespiriNTM
Innovative Medicines Initiative, 2019-2025

Launched in May 2019, the RespiriTB and RespiriNTM projects will explore multiple approaches to treat tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections: determine new targets for anti-mycobacterial compounds, define and optimize novel inhibitors and move these through the process of hit-to-lead compound up until the First-in-Human trials. The role of ORSY group is study of degradation pathways of selected drug candidates, as well as development of new synthetic pathways for drug candidates.

RespiriTB and RespiriNTM are supported by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and Janssen Pharmaceutica – a member of European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). IMI is the world's biggest public-private partnership in the life sciences that facilitate collaboration between the European Commission and industry partners.

EOS Excellence of Science program, 2018-2021

CASCH researchers participate in the project “Bio based factory: Sustainable chemistry from wood”, one of the 38 projects supported by the highly competitive and prestigious Excellence of Science program of the Science Foundations FWO and FNRS in Belgium. The program aims to promote top level collaborative fundamental research between the Flemish and French-speaking communities of Belgium. Together with researchers form the Universities of Leuven, Ghent, Brussels, Liège as well as the German Leibniz Institute for Catalysis (LIKAT), researchers from Antwerp will develop new ways to obtain (new) chemicals from wood biomass as a feedstock. Emphasis in the synthetic method development is on sustainable chemistry.

EOS website

FWO website

FNRS website

CHAOS: C-H Activation in Organic Synthesis
COST Action, 2016-2020

The main aim of this Action is to render C-H activation a truly versatile, practical and general tool for organic chemistry, applicable in both industry and academia.

In principal, organic chemists have the tools in hand to prepare any thermodynamically stable molecule by one way or the other. However, even though great achievements have been made in the past century, most of the bond forming reactions rely on preactivated substrates. Additionally, in complex synthesis, protecting group techniques are often required either to block alternative sites of reactivity, or to protect functional groups labile under reaction conditions required for a specific step of a sequence. The paradigm in organic synthesis has shifted from “getting the job done (the molecule synthesized)” towards getting the job done in the most efficient way possible. The method of metal catalysed C-H activation of organic small molecules has great potential in this regard. At the moment, the field includes many examples of transformations which can be carried out only on specific types of substrates and only few contributions deal with the application of C-H activation in the synthesis of complex molecules such as natural products. Additionally, applications of C-H activation in industrial processes are scarce. Hence, broad applicability, similar to the well establish cross-coupling reactions, has to be established. The time is ripe now to make a big European collaborative effort in the area of C-H activation.