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Pr Rhett KEMPE seminar

29 March de 11:00 - 12:00

Pr Rhett KEMPE

Anorganische Chemie II – Katalysatordesign, Sustainable Chemistry Centre,
University Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Bavaria, GERMANY

Reaction discovery by catalyst design–olefin and N-heterocycle syntheses

The Kempe Group is interested in homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis and we call what we do “catalyst design”. This is to imply that we have an interest in reaction discovery and that our tool to enable a novel chemical reaction is identifying and understanding the right catalyst. We are especially interested in sustainable reaction. Two projects, the polymerization project and the alcohol re-functionalization project, both are based on molecular or homogenous catalysts, are discussed in the talk to be given.

In the polymerization project, we have an interest in selective or on-purpose syntheses of α-olefins from ethylene and a circular polyolefin chemistry. α-Olefins are an important class of chemical compounds and ethylene is an attractive feedstock to synthesize them. However, the selective or on-purpose production of α‑olefins from ethylene is restricted to three examples; all of them have a linear structure: 1-butene, 1-hexene and 1-octene. We recently discovered an elongation and branching reaction of α-olefins by two ethylene molecules[1] and discuss this reaction and its potential for selective or on-purpose α-olefin syntheses. Furthermore, recent work with regard to a circular polyolefin chemistry is discussed [2, 3].

In the alcohol re-functionalization project, we introduced the concept of acceptor-less dehydrogenative condensation for the catalytic synthesis of important aromatic N-heterocyclic compounds [4]. In such reactions, alcohols become selectively hetero-connected via C-C and C-N bond formation steps. The deoxygenation of alcohols takes place via dehydrogenation and condensation steps and H2 is liberated and can be collected and used if wanted. In the talk, the development of the concept and more recent work [5] are discussed.


[1] T. Dietel, F. Lukas, W. P. Kretschmer, R. Kempe, Science 2022, 375, 1021.
[2] A. Goller, J. Obenauf, W. P. Kretschmer, R. Kempe, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023, 62, e202216464.
[3] C. Unger, H. Schmalz, J. Lipp, W. P. Kretschmer, R. Kempe, Adv. Sci. 2024, 11, e202307229.
[4] S. Michlik, R. Kempe, Nature Chem. 2013, 5, 140.
[5] R. Fertig, F. Leowsky-Künstler, T. Irrgang, R. Kempe, Nature Commun. 2023, 14, 595.


29 March
11:00 - 12:00


Dr Eric Manoury


Salle Gallais, LCC
205 Rte de Narbonne
Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées 31400 France
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