dr. Pieter Bruijnincx

University of Utrecht
David de Wiedgebouw
Universiteitsweg 99
Room 4.86
3584 CG
The Netherlands


Pieter Bruijnincx obtained both his Master’s degree (2002) and Ph.D. degree in Chemistry (2007) from Utrecht University (both cum laude, highest distinction). His doctoral studies were performed under the direction of Profs. Bert Klein Gebbink, Gerard van Koten, and Bert Weckhuysen and focused on the development of bio-inspired oxidation catalysts and models for non-heme iron enzymes. After receiving his PhD degree, he was awarded an NWO Rubicon grant (2007) to work in the medicinal inorganic chemistry group of Prof. Peter Sadler at the University of Warwick, U.K. on catalytic drug development.

In 2009, he returned to Utrecht to join the Weckhuysen group as an tenure-track assistant professor to work on the catalytic conversion of biomass and renewables for the production of bulk and fine chemicals. As of October 2013, Pieter Bruijnincx works as a tenured staff member of Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis department. In 2010 and 2013 he received VENI and VIDI grants from the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO).

The research of Pieter Bruijnincx is focused on route and catalyst development for the valorization of i) primary components of lignocellulosic biomass and 2) biomass-derived platform molecules. With the primary feeds, emphasis is on recalcitrant feeds such as humins and lignin, Examples of results obtained in platform molecule conversions include highly active homogeneous and heterogeneous telomerization catalysts and bimetallic catalysts for aqueous-phase reforming of renewable oxygenates, bifunctional catalysts for the selective hydrogenation of levulinic acid and the first examples of biomimetic iron-catalyzed oxidative cleavage reactions of lignin derivatives and fatty acids. Other topics include aromatics production from sugars, and the synthesis of butadiene from bioethanol.

The research, financed by NWO, STW, EU and by industrial partners, is carried as part of national (e.g. public private partnerships such as Catchbio, BPM, etc), international (Marie Curie ITN, COST, etc) and industrial collaborations. The projects involve the development of mostly heterogeneous catalysts, but also homogeneous transition metal-based catalysts and organocatalysts. We aim to gain fundamental understanding of the catalytic process, i.e. the elucidation of structure-activity relationships, to study catalyst stability and deactivation and to apply (in situ) spectroscopy to study mechanistic aspects of the reaction. The research is thus performed at the interface of the fields homogeneous/heterogeneous catalysis and organic/inorganic chemistry.


Contact details:

E-mail: P.C.A.Bruijnincx@uu.nl

Direct phone: +31 62 273 6354

Visit the Bruijnincx Group site