George C. A. Schuit Lecture: Friday, May 23, 2014 in 102 Colburn Lab

Shimshon Gottesfeld

Shimshon Gottesfeld

Dr. Shimshon Gottesfeld, a world-renowned expert in fuel cells and co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of CellEra Inc will give the Schuit Lecture this Spring. The title of the seminar is “Insights into Fundamentals of Electrocatalysis: Is there a common “activity yardstick” which applies to all fuel cell electrocatalysts?”, and will be presented on May 23th at the Colburn Laboratory in Newark DE. For more details please click announcement link below.


Schuit Announcement

NSF Career Award: Chemist Joel Rosenthal awarded research grant in renewable energy conversion

Joel Rosenthal

UD’s Joel Rosenthal has received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award for his work in renewable energy.

Joel Rosenthal, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Delaware, has received a highly competitive Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support his research in renewable energy and molecular energy conversion. Rosenthal has won widespread attention recently for his work seeking new catalyst platforms that use electricity generated from solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into synthetic liquid fuels for powering cars, homes and businesses. When that type of conversion is successful, carbon dioxide, or CO2, a major greenhouse gas, can provide a feedstock for the production of synthetic petroleum, offering a potential route to the replacement of fossil fuels.


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Chemistry toolkit: Professor to study new routes to synthesize organic molecules for pharmaceuticals

Donald Watson

Donald Watson has received a $1.47 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study new reactions for use in the production of medicines and pharmaceuticals.

Donald Watson, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, has received a $1.47 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study new reactions for use in the production of medicines and pharmaceuticals. “Modern medicine relies on the preparation of complex organic molecules to serve as the active ingredients of pharmaceuticals,” Watson says. “As the need for more selective, more potent, and more effective medicines increases, there is an ever-growing need to develop new methods to synthesize complex organic molecules.”


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3D Microporous Base-Functionalized Covalent Organic Frameworks for Size-Selective Catalysis


The design and synthesis of 3D covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have been considered a challenge, and the demonstrated applications of 3D COFs have so far been limited to gas adsorption. The Yan’s group has recently designed and synthesized two new 3D microporous base-functionalized COFs, termed BF-COF-1 and BF-COF-2, by the use of a tetrahedral alkyl amine, (1,3,5,7-tetraaminoadamantane) combined with 1,3,5-triformylbenzene (TFB) or triformylphloroglucinol (TFP). Both BF-COFs showed remarkable conversion (96% for BF-COF-1 and 98% for BF-COF-2), high size selectivity, and good recyclability in base-catalyzed Knoevenagel condensation reactions. This study suggests that porous functionalized 3D COFs could be a promising new class of shape-selective catalysts.


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Cascade of Liquid-Phase Catalytic Transfer Hydrogenation and Etherification of 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural


A new route from 5-hydroxymethylfurfural and isopropanol to 2,5-bis[(1-methylethoxy)methyl]furan, a potential biodiesel additive has been discovered by Jungho Jae, Eyas Mahmoud, and Profs. Vlachos and Lobo. Their discovery has been highlighted as the back cover of the latest ChemCatChem issue. In their paper on p.508 of this issue, Jae et al. describe the process, which applies Lewis acid zeolites, such as Sn- or Zr-Beta, as catalysts in a liquid-phase transfer hydrogenation and etherification cascade reaction. The use of Sn-Beta and secondary alcohols gives the products in the highest selectivities (>85%) in yields of over 80%. This chemistry opens a new opportunity to the production of biodiesel from biomass derived sugars.


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