IAS Distinguished Lecture

Design and Applications of Catalytic Reactions for Sustainable Synthesis and Energy

In view of global concerns regarding the environment and sustainable energy resources, the discovery of new green catalytic reactions is desirable. A renowned chemist Professor David Milstein delivered the distinguished lecture titled “Design and Applications of Catalytic Reactions for Sustainable Synthesis and Energy” for the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) on 23 January 2019.

In recent years, the design of “green” synthetic methodology and new approaches to sustainable energy are major goals of modern catalysis. In the lecture, Professor Milstein, the Israel Matz Professorial Chair of Organic Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, discussed the new approach to the activation of chemical bonds and "green" catalysis: Metal-ligand cooperation.

Professor Milstein featured the development of the new mode of metal-ligand cooperation. He said that in homogeneous catalysis, both the metal and ligand undergo bond making and breaking in key steps of the catalytic cycle and this process has led to fundamentally new, environmentally benign catalytic reactions. He highlighted that these reactions are efficient, proceed under neutral conditions, and produce no waste.

Professor Milstein further elaborated the synthetic and energy-related applications based on these reactions. He concluded that the metal-ligand cooperation is gaining much interest in bond activation and fresh approaches to catalytic design are getting in a strong need.

Professor David Milstein’s research interests include fundamental organometallic chemistry, homogeneous catalysis, and the design and application of metal-catalyzed reactions for green chemistry and renewable energy. He is recipient of the 2012 Israel Prize, the 2016 ENI Award for protection of the environment, the 2017 Gold Medal of the Israel Chemical Society. He is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the German National Academy of Sciences-Leopoldina, and the US National Academy of Sciences.

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