Latest Publications

Bioinspired Catalyst Design and Artificial Metalloenzymes

Peter J. Deuss1, Dr. René den Heeten2, Dr. Wouter Laan1,* and Prof. Dr. Paul C. J. Kamer1,* - Chemistry - A European Journal Volume 17, Issue 17, pages 4680–4698, April 18, 2011

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201003646

Alternative approaches for the aqueous–organic biphasic hydroformylation of higher alkenes

Lorenz Obrecht, Paul C. J. Kamer, Wouter Laan

Catal. Sci. Technol 02/2013; 3(3):541-551. DOI:10.1039/C2CY20538F

Heterolytic activation of dihydrogen by platinum and palladium complexes.

Karina Q Almeida Leñero, Yannick Guari, Paul C J Kamer, Piet W N M van Leeuwen, Bruno Donnadieu, Sylviane Sabo-Etienne, Bruno Chaudret, Martin Lutz, Anthony L Spek

Biological Approaches

René den Heeten, Paul C. J. Kamer, Wouter Laan

In book: Phosphorus(III) Ligands in Homogeneous Catalysis: Design and Synthesis, Edition: 1, Chapter: 17, Publisher: Wiley, pp.481-495

Sustainable catalytic conversions of renewable substrates

Pieter C. A. Bruijnincxa and Yuriy Román-Leshkov

Click the link below to get access to this artical

DOI: 10.1039/c4cy90025a

Homogeneous catalysis for the conversion of biomass and biomass-derived platform chemicals

Peter J. Deuss, Katalin Barta and Johannes G. de Vries

Perspective: Homogeneous catalysis for the conversion of biomass and biomass-derived platform chemicals

DOI: 10.1039/C3CY01058A

Isolation of Functionalized Phenolic Monomers through Selective Oxidation......

Full title: Isolation of Functionalized Phenolic Monomers through Selective Oxidation and C-O Bond Cleavage of the β-O-4 Linkages in Lignin

Christopher S. Lancefield, Dr. O. Stephen Ojo, Dr. Fanny Tran and Prof. Nicholas J. Westwood

Functionalized phenolic monomers have been generated and isolated from an organosolv lignin through a two-step depolymerization process. Chemoselective catalytic oxidation of β-O-4 linkages promoted by the DDQ/tBuONO/O2 system was achieved in model compounds, including polymeric models and in real lignin. The oxidized β-O-4 linkages were then cleaved on reaction with zinc. Compared to many existing methods, this protocol, which can be achieved in one pot, is highly selective, giving rise to a simple mixture of products that can be readily purified to give pure compounds. The functionality present in these products makes them potentially valuable building blocks.
This research was funded by the EPSRC grants EP/J018139/1 and EP/K00445X/1 and through the International Training Network SuBiCat. We would also like to thank Professors Paul Kamer, Bob Tooze, and Derek Stewart for extensive discussions on lignin processing and the EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Service Centre, Swansea, for mass spectra.

DOI: 10.1002/anie.201409408

Base-catalysed cleavage of lignin β-O-4 model compounds in dimethyl carbonate

Base-catalysed cleavage of lignin β-O-4 model compounds in dimethyl carbonate

S. Dabral, J. Mottweiler, T. Rinesch and C. Bolm, Green Chem., 2015

This is an Accepted Manuscript, which has been through the Royal Society of Chemistry peer review process and has been accepted for publication.
Accepted Manuscripts are published online shortly after acceptance, before technical editing, formatting and proof reading. Using this free service, authors can make their results available to the community, in citable form, before we publish the edited article. We will replace this Accepted Manuscript with the edited and formatted Advance Article as soon as it is available.

DOI: 10.1039/C5GC00186B

Aromatic Monomers by in Situ Conversion of Reactive Intermediates in the Acid-Catalyzed Depolymerization of Lignin

Peter J. Deuss, Martin Scott, Fanny Tran, Nicholas J. Westwood, Johannes G. de Vries, and Katalin Barta

Abstract: Conversion of lignin into well-defined aromatic chemicals is a highly attractive goal but is often hampered by recondensation of the formed fragments, especially in acidolysis. Here, we describe new strategies that markedly suppress such undesired pathways to result in diverse aromatic compounds previously not systematically targeted from lignin. Model studies established that a catalytic amount of triflic acid is very effective in cleaving the β-O-4 linkage, most abundant in lignin. An aldehyde product was identified as the main cause of side reactions under cleavage conditions. Capturing this unstable compound by reaction with diols and by in situ catalytic hydrogenation or decarbonylation lead to three distinct groups of aromatic compounds in high yields acetals, ethanol and ethyl aromatics, and methyl aromatics. Notably, the same product groups were obtained when these approaches were successfully extended to lignin. In addition, the formation of higher molecular weight side products was markedly suppressed, indicating that the aldehyde intermediates play a significant role in these processes. The described strategy has the potential to be generally applicable for the production of interesting aromatic compounds from lignin.

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b03693

From models to lignin: Transition metal catalysis for selective bond cleavage reactions

Peter J. Deuss and Katalin Barta


  • Summary of recent efforts in the selective catalytic depolymerization of lignin.
  • From detailed studies on model compound to actual applications.
  • Focus on progress of selective reductive and hydrogen neutral efforts.
  • Porous metal oxides as highly efficient catalyst for the conversion of lignin and lignocellulose.
  • Comparison of the different aromatic products that are accessible.

Abstract: In the coming decades major changes are expected in the chemical industry regarding the utilized raw material inputs. Depleting fossil resources will gradually be replaced by renewable feedstocks wherever possible. Because of this transition, new and efficient methodologies are required that enable depolymerization and defunctionalization of these complex, highly oxygenated biopolymers. Additionally, utilization of all components of lignocellulose is of great importance. In particular, depolymerization of lignin into its aromatic subunits or defined aromatic platform chemicals has proven challenging. Various approaches to overcome these difficulties have been attempted and resulted in new and exciting developments in many fields. In this review we will give an overview of bond cleavage strategies relevant for lignin depolymerization using homogeneous catalysts, focusing especially on reductive and hydrogen transfer methods.

DOI: Not available now