«The central role of chemistry in the transition to the solar economy»

Video of visit and lectures of M. Pagliaro at Moscow ZIOC Russian Academy of Sciences19-Jun-2017 -  On June 8th and June 9th, Mario Pagliaro gave two invited lectures at the Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry (ZIOC) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Both lectures aroused much interest in the audience and ended with a vigorous discussion lasting about one hour. After the first lecture, Italy's scholar met with Russia's academicians ZIOC Director Mikhail P. Egorov, Laboratory Head Professor Valentine P. Ananikov and world-renowned organic chemist Professor Irina P. Beletskaya (watch the video and photogallery). 

"Bring organic chemistry within sol-gel glasses"

"Exactly 20 years ago I was sitting in a laboratory in Jerusalem, listening to a quick lecture of David Avnir, who turns 70 next week", he started his first lecture entitled "Sol-Gel Catalysts: Making Green Chemistry Possible".

"David was as usual very clear: 'We've a simple programme: to bring organic chemistry from solution to the inner porosity of sol-gel glasses'.

"Now, there are more several million organic molecules, and this may seem a far too ambitious programme. Yet, if we look at what we can do with sol-gel entrapped catalysts, we notice that a huge class of reactions can already be transferred to said inner porosity. Not only in the laboratory, but also in industry.

"Today, I will present you selected examples of some key organic chemistry reactions that are successfully mediated by these materials, getting rid of by-products, under very mild conditions.

"Let me please start from money and from we wrote in Angewandte with Cristina Della Pina and Joaquim Teles, a prominent chemist at world's leading chemical company. Chemists develop new catalysts and catalytic processes which drastically reduce or even eliminate waste altogether.

"The fine chemical industry is driven by product, and not process, innovation. Hence, industry’s managers will say yes to catalysis if the new catalyst meets one out of two requirements: either it enables the development of an entirely new process with different raw materials and breakthrough economics; or the new catalyst offering a moderate economic improvement, can be developed as a drop-in for existing plant and process.
"This is exactly what ORMOSIL-entrapped catalysts do: They often provide breakthrough economic improvement, and they can easily be used as drop-in solutions. And this is the reason whey they were commercialized.

"Their features and benefits are evident: the ceramic nature ensures unprecedented chemical and physical stability; the huge surface area and accessible inner mesoporosity allows high dispersion of the catalytic species and excellent applicability to flow chemistry, whereas the sol-gel process carried out in liquid phase enables true reproducibility in the production of materials of high and accurate catalyst loading.

"Finally, the sol-gel encapsulation phenomenon so well described by Avnir in a now classical 1995 paper explains both their high air and moisture stability and exceptional catalytic activity: sol-gel materials, indeed, are true chemical sponges.

"Listing even a fraction of all sol-gel entrapped materials doing catalysis would require three or four lectures. Hence, I will give you just one or two examples describing the performance of  ORMOSIL-entrapped metal nanoparticles, ion pairs, photocatalytic oxides, organocatalyst and metal complexes.


Valentine P Ananikov, Rosaria Ciriminna, Irina P Beletskaya, Michail P Egorov, Mario Pagliaro - ND Zelinsky Institute, Moscow, 8 June 2017 "The first example is the broad scope and selectivity of SiliaCat Pt(0), an ORMOSIL matrix encapsulating Pt nanoparticles prepared using the method jointly developed with Rosaria Ciriminna, Giovanni Palmisano, Valerica Pandarus and Francois Béland back in 2011, in mediating the hydrogenation of different nitro compounds.

"The material selectively affords complete or very high yields of functionalized anilines under hydrogen balloon, at room temperature conditions in methanol solvent with 0.5-1 mol% Pt. In comparison to other commercial Pt heterogeneous catalysts
SiliaCat Pt(0) is much more reactive, with complete conversion after 0.5 h with just 0.5 mol% metal amount. Furthermore, selectivity is significantly higher with only 4% aniline formed as by-product, and no other secondary product. Leaching of Pt and Si is minimal, whereas the catalyst reused in 7 consecutive cycles affords complete substrate conversion with 99% selectivity even in the last cycle.

"The very same catalyst can be successfully employed in modest 0.5-1 mol % amount to electively mediates the hydrosilylation of different olefins at room temperature or at 65 °C, depending on the substrate.  This closes the organosilicon synthetic cycle, because the
SiliaCat catalyst itself is made out of an alkyl-trialkoxysilane in its turn is obtained via olefin hydrosilylation. What is also relevant from a practical viewpoint is that the process scaled up 50 times retains both the high selectivity and conversion degree observed in the 2 mmol scale reaction

"Similar excellent results are obtained with
SiliaCat Pd(0) enabling the selective hydrogenation of nitro compounds in the presence of different functionalities including carboxylic acid, ester, amide, and halide groups under 1 atm hydrogen at room temperature in batch. Showing the first evidence of the potential of these materials in flow chemistry, however, the hydrogenation using ammonium formate under flow affords full selective conversion in 14 min only, versus 60 min required for maximum 95% selectivity under batch conditions.

"Another example, very important from the viewpoint of public health, is that
SiliaCat Pd(0) is a chemoselective and highly efficient catalyst for the hydrogenation of a wide variety of vegetable oils in a simple hydrogen balloon at room temperature promoting at ultralow 0.1 mol% load the full hydrogenation of vegetable oils with no cis/trans isomerization and with negligible leaching of valued Pd.

"You all know that in the hydrogenation of vegetable oils with Ni-based catalysts some unsaturated bonds are unselectively converted to an unnatural
trans position. What is perhaps less known is that the combined results of metabolic and epidemiological studies provide strong evidence that trans fatty acid intake is causally related to risk of coronary disease, sudden death from cardiac causes, and diabetes.

"It is also remarkable here that Russia's scientists have investigated the use of palldium catalysts for margarine production since the early 1960s up to Murzin and co-workers who reported in 2008 successful results using a
over a Pd carbon nanocomposite catalyst at margarine plants in Zaporogskiy, Lvov and Kazan, demonstrating excellent behavior in industrial conditions in the selective hydrogenation of sunflower oil.

Mario Pagliaro lecturing in Moscow, ZIOC, 8 June 2017 "The fine chemical industry prefers drop-in solutions. One is the replacement of any commercial catalyst currently used for the production of squalane via squalene hydrogenation, with newly developed spherical 
SiliaCat Pd(0). The work is currently ending peer-review at an ACS journal. Let me just show you that the new catalyst outperformed several commercial catalysts in the solvent-free fully chemoselective hydrogenation of squalene, both of vegetable or animal origin.

"Getting to gold catalysis, the issue is very simple. For gold catalysis to become ubiquitous in the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industry as Pd catalysis is today, recyclable catalysts using an ultra-low amount of gold will have to be developed. In year 2000, indeed, gold price was less than $300/oz, whereas in October 2014, the price had risen to $1246/oz - when, for comparison, the price of Pd was $775/oz.

"One such catalyst could be the
SiliaCat Au(0) jointly introduced with Béland and Pandarus in Canada and Ilharco and Fidalgo in Portugal in 2015.

"The catalyst successfully mediates the selective oxidation of alcohols
either under solvent-free conditions with oxygen or with hydrogen peroxide in biphasic system. Remarkably, ending the 2015 article we were anticipating forthcoming application of this new material to different applicative domains of chemistry, including environmental remediation.

"Hence, we were happily surprised that it took Israeli colleagues a few more months to report highly successful application of this new class of materials to the dehalogenation of
brominated disinfection byproducts typically produced during water disinfection with chlorine, owing to trace amounts of bromide.

The catalyst successfully catalyzes the debromination of all brominated products affording complete conversion into valued succinic or acetic acid. Above all, the catalyst is stable and reusable. Let me thus please emphasize what Ariel's University Dr Albo and the other Israeli colleagues write in the next September issue of
Chimica Oggi - Chemistry Today I've got the privilege to edit:

“The applicability of a new technology is highly dependent on the cost effectiveness of the suggested process. This is even more relevant regarding environmental technologies due to relatively low market values characteristic to this field.  The ability to obtain reproducible catalysts by using sol-gel technology, the low catalytic amount of gold used in the preparation of the matrices and the stability of the catalyst are important advancements towards the implementation of highly active noble metal nanoparticles in water remediation processes”. 


Dr Pagliaro continued explaining that the selective oxidation of alcohols to carbonyls and to carboxylic acids, a key process in the production of fine chemicals, for decades has been carried out in industry using highly toxic, hazardous and potentially highly polluting Cr(VI).

"Today alcohol selective oxidation in industry is very often carried out catalytically using nitroxyl radical TEMPO, a stable radical species first synthesized in Russia by Lebedev and Kazarnowskii in 1959. Oxidation either uses NaOCl with potassium bromide as primary oxidant or aerobically with a copper(I) co-catalyst. Conceived in the late 1990s,
SiliaCat TEMPO was the first sol-gel catalyst commercialized in the early 2000s.

"The solid catalyst can be successfully used for the oxidation of a wide variety of alcohols under batch or flow conditions. However, whereas under batch it takes 1 h to achieve maximum 97% benzyl alcohol at
0 °C requiring the use of KBr as co-catalyst, under flow it takes 0.3 min to get full alcohol conversion to pure benzaldehyde (100% selectivity) at room temperature and without KBr. For comparison, the same oxidative reaction over resin-immobilized TEMPO under flow still requires cooling at 0 °C and the use of KBr for optimal yields and selectivity.

Ion pair@ORMOSIL

"Another example is ORMOSIL-entrapped TPAP. The ion pair TPAP encapsulated in silica employed in the aerobic oxidation of alcohols is modestly active, but the activity rapidly increases with the amount of methyl groups in the ORMOSIL matrix; with the fully methylated ORMOSIL showing activity comparable to that of homogeneous TPAP.

"Shortly afterwards, along with Sandro Campestrini from Padua University we developed
FluoRuGel, namely TPAP encapsulated in a fluorinated silica matrix which showed high reactivity and unique kinetics in alcohol oxidative dehydrogenation in supercritical carbon dioxide.

"Contrary to TPAP in solution where it progressively loses activity due to aggregation of the intermediate ruthenate species,
the FluoRuGel atalyst is smoothly recyclable as the sol-gel encapsulation of perruthenate in the inner porosity of the organosilica matrix entirely prevents aggregation.

Metal complex@ORMOSIL

Therty years of cross-coupling. Signatures of fathers of C-C bond forming reactions on the wall of Prof- Beletskaya's study in Moscow"The example of an encapsulated metal complex is SiliaCat DPP-Pd, namely the ORMOSIL-entrapped Pd(II) complex synthesized from a diphenylphosphine-functionalized silane and methyltrethoxysilane developed by Pandarus and Béland showing high selective acivity in a wide variety of C-C cross-coupling reactions.

"In 2013, we used it to green the Valsartan synthesis scaling up a key Suzuki-Miyaura coupling reaction affording 100% yield in coupled product in 1 h. The catalyst in the batch reaction was not recyclable, but it was practically leach-proof while it enables the much faster synthesis of another sartan, Telmisartan, under flow in which the residence time is less than 5 min, as
reported by Gupton and co-workers in 2015.

"Kappe's team recently conducted a comparative study of the most common immobilized diarylphosphine- and triarylphosphine-based palladium catalysts used in C–C coupling reactions by carrying out two model Mizoroki-Heck and Suzuki–Miyaura reactions in an X-Cube flow reactor.
SiliaCat DPP-Pd showed far superior leaching resistance and stability with respect to the other three catalysts, with very low levels of leached Pd (332 μg for the Heck and 39 μg for the Suzuki reaction), even though the catalyst showed formation of Pd black upon reaction.

"As put by Alcázar and co-workers who used it for a variety of cross-coupling reaction under flow with remarkable performance stability on stream, the
SiliaCat DPP-Pd catalyst 'costs less than other commonly used palladium sources, such as palladium acetate or Pearlman's catalyst, does not require catalyst separation from the product, drastically reducing solvent utilization, while providing increased yields of valued cross-coupled products at a much faster rate than any homogeneously catalyzed process in a batch reactor'.

"Getting therefore back to the premise of this lecture, this a technology that managers will consider for scale-up and practical utilization because these outcomes directly translate into dramatically reduced cost due to yield improvement, lack of product contamination, reduced solvent
utilization and waste treatment cost, and shorter time for product delivery.

Metal oxide@ORMOSIL

"The last example is the sol-gel entrapped photocatalyst called SiliaSun. Both amorphous silica and organosilica are transparent glasses, which makes possible visible-light photocatalysis through the inner porosity of these materials. In the case of nanostructured bismuth tungstate, the encapsulation of the photocatalytic species greatly contributes to the improved separation of photogenerated electron–hole pairs under visible light irradiation, as shown by the photoluminiscence intensity of silica-entrapped tungstate being much lower than that of non-entrapped tungstate.

Along with Professor Yi-Jun Xu at Fuzhou University we first showed greatly improved catalytic activity in the aerobic selective oxidation of glycerol to DHA
embedding the the short-gap semiconductor in a 10% methyl-modified silica matrix. Next week ChemComm publishes the results of the sunlight-driven photo-oxidation of trans-ferulic and trans-cinnamic acid dissolved in water with air as primary oxidant over this catalyst, affording in one-pot unprecedented yields of valuable products such as vanillin, benzaldehyde, benzoic and vanillic acid.

"We have suggested mechanistic explanations for all our findings, which are included in the articles mentioned in the slides.

"I should mention too many people whose assistance has been instrumental in developing this part of our research. They are shown in this slide. Let me please dedicate this lecture to two women in science: Rosaria Ciriminna in Italy and Valerica Pandarus in Canada. Without these two
excellent chemists little or nothing of what you have heard of today would have been possible.

"Finally, to show you a first link between Moscow and Palermo, may I remind that Dmitry Mendeleev considered his friend Stanislao Cannizzaro 'my immediate predecessor'. Not many Italians are aware that Professor Cannizzaro was a chemist from Palermo, where he carried out the experiments that led him to assess several atomic weights".

The inevitable solar economy

Mario Pagliaro lecturing on the bioeconomy, RAS Zelinsky Institute, Moscow, Jun 9, 2017 In the second lecture ("Chemistry for the Bioeconomy: From Discussion to Action") Dr Pagliaro offered a critical overview of the bioeconomy starting from the oil, wealth and population conundrum.

After a brief presentation of the European Union bioeconomy strategy, he suggested arguments for which the solar economy is inevitable.

"Along with Professor Meneguzzo in Florence, we have recently identified the relationship between wealth and population, and that between wealth and total energy consumption. If global population will keep growing along the current trajectory, in 2025 about 800 million people will add to current population, requiring more than 11 million additional barrels per day over current oil production levels.

"We simply
do not know where to take all this oil.

Hence, the solar economy is the
only option we have do avoid unpleasant consequences.

"Biomass will replace oil as raw material of the global chemical industry. I do not have time to treat the biorefinery topic, and recommend you to read the spectacular insight on the second generation biorefinery of Professor Percival Zhang, who lately attended the SuNEC conference in Sicily. In the transition to the bioeconomy, chemistry has an absolutely central role.

First pillar, solar energy

"Let me start from solar energy. As put it by Varadi, a pioneer in solar energy, very few people realize that without the invention of solar power many things we are using today such as cell phones, TV, internet, global weather service, the Glonass and Gps systems, and manned space stations would not be possible.

"Almost two centuries ago, Dmitry Mendeleev said to the Czar that burning oil to make energy was equivalent to firing up banknotes in the kitchen stove', continued Dr Pagliaro. "Yet, for more than a century hydroelectric and nuclear power have been the only two alternatives available.

"All has changed in the last twenty years, with an unexpected boom in renewable energy, especially wind and solar power, that will shortly change the global energy scenario.

"For example, in India two weeks ago solar electricity was priced at 3.7
$cents/kWh, which is lower than the current wholesale coal power price of 4 cents per kWh. In detail, the owners of a 500 MW solar park agreed to build the plant in 12 months and sell the electricity to the Government at this flat tariff for 25 years.

"This shows you not only how cheap, but also how reliable is this technology. India now knows it very well, and the Government just cancelled orders for huge coal fired power plants: 14 GW, equivalent to 14 nuclear power stations.

Statu of Dmitry Mendeleev in front of Moscow State University Chemistry Department, June 2017 "Let me show you also how renewable energy ends the electricity business. Italy, a small country in terms of geography but a large one from the industrial viewpoint, currently hosts 20 GW of installed solar photovoltaic power.  The country in 2016 demanded 310 billion of kWh, out of which 
106 came from renewable energy sources. Correspondingly, the wholesale price of electricity went down from 7.48 cents per kWh as of 2007 to 4.28 cents in 2016. And the same happened in cloudy Germany where the installed solar park exceeds 40 GW: twice that of Italy.

"And this is just the beginning of the solar economy. Hence, utilities have only two business options left: start selling kilowattohours to the owners of electric vehicles, and installing
'PV + storage systems' to their customer premises.

"Storage of electricity means Li-ion batteries, which also means electric mobility. Again, just one example: 2013 in China saw the sale of 1,672 electric buses. Last year, the figure increased to 116,000, namely almost two orders of magnitude growth in less than three years. The city of Shenzhen is planning to an all electric fleet of 15,000 buses by the end of 2017. This year!

"Again, the technology works and has been developed by chemists, including the founder of China's and world's largest Li-ion battery maker. I recommend you to read his story in the book chapter mentioned in the slides.

"Last year I gave a lecture on solar energy to
young Russian managers training in Sicily. I told them how the head of Rusnano, a Russia's government company charged to support business in nanotechnology, asked a scientist suggesting to provide support for start manufacturing solar panels in Russia, to come back when the price of solar electricity would have gone below that of nuclear electricity.

"That moment has long come, and now Russia has an excellent maker of solar PV modules financed exactly by Rusnano.

Second pillar, bioproducts from biomass

"The global nature of the environmental and energy crises" Dr Pagliaro added "requires us to accelerate international collaboration for the transition to a true bioeconomy based on renewable energy and renewable raw materials originating from biomass, and in particular from agriculture, forestry, food and fish processing waste. Along with research, Pagliaro's team at Italy's Research Council in Sicily is engaged in advancing international education in sustainability, for which it has developed innovative international courses on nanochemistry, solar energy and energy management.

"May I give you just a few examples of valued added bioproducts obtainable from agriculture or fishing waste for which we need new green chemistry processes which, indeed, are being invented and industrialized.

"The first is pectin, the most valued natural hydrocolloid, industrially obtained from citrus peel and to a lower extent apple pomace. Traditionally employed as gelling agent for jam, it has nowadays tens of applications as emulsifying, stabilizing and gelling agent, as well as active ingredient in numerous cosmetic and nutraceutical products. The world market exceeds $1.6 billion and is growing quickly. The demand is sensibly higher than the offer and over the past five years the price has doubled, to over $20/kg.

"The industrial extraction process is based on hydrolysis with diluted hot mineral acids, followed by precipitation with organic solvent. In 1991, following new environmental regulation, US pectin producers exported all remaining pectin plants to Mexico, whereas in Soviet times a number of facilities were producing pectin (from apple and sugar beet) in Russia. All plants were subsequently closed and now
Russia imports $90 million worth of pectin each month, with a new 1,000 tonnes/year pectin plant being erected in the Belgorod Region.

"A similar trend is observed for citrus
essential oils (EOs): booming demand, insufficient supply and ever higher prices.

"Along with Professors Cravotto in Italy and Ilharco in Portugal, we have developed an eco-friendly,
solvent-free microwave extraction process which enables the concomitant isolation of pectin and essential oils (EOs) from citrus peel as well as from different citrus fruit parts.

"Not only very high yields of pectin and essential oils are obtained, but we also discovered that using d
ifferent fruit parts -- outer skin, peel, and waste -- as sources for pectin and EO affords different bioproducts. For example, EOs extracted from the exocarp contain higher amounts of oxygenated monoterpenes, whereas those extracted from the exo-/mesocarp are richer in flavone and furanocoumarin derivatives.

"Another example are olive biophenols: powerful bioactive compounds exerting multiple health benefits. Tens of nutraceutical and cosmetic products using olive biophenols as active ingredients are already available on the marketplace.

Italy's Labor Minister Giuliano Poletti visiting Sicily's first biophenol plant, witn Mario Pagliaro and Riccardo Delisi, November 2016"We have recently shown that
these natural phenolics are suitable for large-scale replacement of synthetic phenols, sulfites and other synthetic antioxidants and antimicrobials in foodstuffs and beverages, transforming an health issue into an opportunity for health improvement.

"For example, Spanish researchers two years ago showed that frying vegetables in olive oil increases the amount of phenolic compounds in fried vegetables. Hence, the opportunity to replace toxic TBHQ (tert-butyl hydroquinone) in hydrogenated canola oil used to fry chips with olive biophenol extracts.

"Sicily grows olive orchards since more than 2,500 years, and still the production of olive mill waste water continues to be a serious environmental problem, with several oil mills being forced to close every year due to water and soil pollution.

"In 2016 we helped a company to adapt the biophenol integral extraction protocol developed by Roberto Crea in the early 2000s for the three-phase olive mill, to a large two-phase mill operating in Sicily.

"The new set-up allowed extensive recovery of olive phenolics, transforming previous waste into
a biophenol extract of unprecedented quality and in a source of revenues for the milling company, while eliminating a source of potential pollution altogether. Italy's Labor Minister and the vice Minister of Science visited the plant last November congratulating the Research Council for supporting the new bioeconomy initiative.

"The third example are supplements containing long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, namely a
$4 billion market growing quickly due to multiple beneficial health effects associated to omega-3 docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) fatty acids.

"Industry traditionally extracts omega-3
from fish oil using processes that are energy intensive and use organic solvents.

"For example, Russia has a huge fishery equipped with state-of-the-art vessels, and a huge fish processing industry. The country recommends the world's highest daily inteake of omega-3 EPA and DHA: 1,300 mg, while most countries recommend around 250 mg.

"Three years ago, Anastasia Zaytseva, a student at the  the Arctic University of Norway, analyzed the composition of 13 marine omega-3 supplements on Russian and Norwegian markets. Have a look at what she found out.

"In Sicily, an island with a large fishing fleet, we do not even extract these valued molecules: we throw them away into the sewage in their triglyceride form, and at times they invade the roads as happened in a fisherman village near Palermo last year.

Acknowledgements of Mario Pagliaro at ZIOC lecture on June 8, 2017"Clearly, we need
green alternatives to expand and improve the production of omega-3 extracts, especially with the aim to obtain these essential polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish processing waste available in >20 million tonnes/year amount, maximizing of benefits for all involved.

"The last an example of innovation in chemistry and physics applied to the bioeconomy is the application of a technology that has been widely progressed in your country and in India: hydrodynamic cavitation.

"We joined Professor Meneguzzo in Florence to develop an entirely new beer-brewing process using a simple Venturi tube that produces cavitation within the wort,  dramatically changing the chemistry, the engineering, and the environmental footprint of the process that produces brew.

"May I briefly remind that cavitation produces tiny bubbles whose rapid collapse locally creates temperatures of more than 1,000 Kelvin and pressures exceeding
5,000 bar.

pulverizes malted barley within a few minutes thereby avoiding the necessity for it to be dry milled. Furthermore, it increases the rate at which starch passes from the pulverized malted barley into the wort, so that washing of the malt to remove trapped sugar and starch also becomes unnecessary.

"The transformation of starch into simpler sugars now takes place at lower temperatures
. No boiling is needed and the activation temperature of enzymes drops by about 35 °C, shortening the time needed for saccharification, while causing unpleasant volatile gases to degas quickly.

"Finally, the beer obtained with this new process is practically gluten-free, which is an extremely important finding as the number of gluten-intolerant and caeliac patients across the world has reached unprecedented levels.

Let me conclude with another example of the ancient linkage between Palermo and Moscow. On October 23, 1845, two powerful steam ships, the
Kamchatka and the Bessarabia, entered Palermo’s harbor after two days of navigation started in Genua. The ships carried the Czarin Alexandra Fedorovna and several components of Russia's court as the Czarin was going to spend 6 months in Palermo to enjoy the health benefits of the warm city climate. She received the visit of the Czar, Nicholas I, and left in Sicily a great memory".

Fostering cooperation

PhD students of Professor Valentine P Ananikov in Moscow with Mario Pagliaro, June 2017 The lectures were part of an intense scientific programme. Following a visit to the world renowned Labs of Professor Valentine Ananikov, on June 8th, the Italian scholars met with Dr. Denis Chusov, Prof. Sergey Osipov, Prof. Alexander Trofinov and Prof. Natalia Belkova at the Nesmeyanov Institute of Organoelement Compounds. In the afternoon, they met with Dr. Alexey Sukhorukov, Dr. Anatoly Vereshchagin and Dr Elena Shubina. The scientists offered an extremely interesting overview of their recent work.

On June 9th, they met with Professor Irina P. Beletskaya, Russia's academician and organic chemistry legend, at Lomonosov Moscow State University discussing possible avenues of cooperation. Editor-in-chief of The Russian Journal of Organic Chemistry, Professor Beletskaya offered also an inspirational overview of contemporary organic chemistry.

After that, accompanied by another chemistry professor at Moscow University, they visited the unique building and surroundings of Lomonosov University.

In the early afternoon, Italy's scholars were presented the outcomes of their reseach by PhD candidate and post-graduate students including Dmitry Eremin, Kirill Erokhin, Alexey Galushko, Evgeniya Borkovskaya,  Evgeniya Degtyareva and Sergey Yakukhnov.

RAS and Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry

Founded in Saint Petersburg by the Czar Peter the Great in 1774, the Russian Academy of Sciences rapidly became the top scientific institution of the world's largest country advancing basic and applied knowledge in all fields of the sciences. After the Soviet period during which it incorporated the name of the USSR (1925-1991), it was reconstituted as the Russian Academy of Sciences on 1991.

Named after eminent chemist Nikolay D. Zelinsky in 1953, ZIOC hosts a shared facility center equipped with state of the art spectrometers and electron microscopes in operation the whole year, enabling advanced structural investigation of molecular systems. RAS Zelinsky's scholars and young researchers continuously contribute important advances in all main journals in chemical science.

Along with academics from Lomonosov Moscow State University, the Institute offers advanced university education which includes experimental classes in research laboratories of the Academy's institutes. Aiming at fostering and expanding valuable contacts with leading international R&D centers and laboratories engaged in organic chemistry, catalysis and other areas of chemistry, the Institute regularly invites outstanding foreign and Russian scientists for lecturing, including a new educational project part of which were the lectures of Graham Hutchings, Paul Chirik and Mario Pagliaro.

Learn More

M. Pagliaro, "The central role of chemistry in the transition to the solar economy", submitted (2017); prepublished at: http://dx.doi.org/10.13140/rg.2.2.14253.08166

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