Arjan W. Kleij

Institut Català d'Investigació Química (ICIQ)

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

Arjan W. Kleij (1971) received his MSc (with honors) and PhD (Cum Laude) from the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) working with Gerard van Koten. In 2002 he moved to Spain for a postdoctoral stay as a NWO TALENT fellow with Javier de Mendoza, and then he held another postdoc appointment at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) working with Joost Reek. He also held various scientific positions in the industry working as a project leader (Avantium Technologies) and senior research scientist (Hexion Specialty Chemicals). In 2006, he returned to Spain as ICREA Researcher and ICIQ Group Leader, and was promoted to ICREA Research Professor in 2011. He is member of the advisory board of Current Organic Chemistry (2014-) and ChemSusChem (2016-). Guest editor for Catal. Sci. & Technol. (2014) and ChemSusChem (2016), chairman of the Carbon Dioxide Conversion Catalysis conference in Albufeira (Portugal) in 2016. Total citations >5500 and current h-index of around 43.

Research interests

The research of my group focuses on the valorization of small molecules such as CO2 and SO2. We design new and more sustainable catalytic methods for their conversion and use in organic synthesis; a major focus is on the use of renewable materials to produce organic matter of interest in academic and industrial settings. Typical examples of organic compounds that can be derived from CO2 include biodegradable polymers, synthons for the pharmaceutical industry and organic intermediates of importance in stereo-selective synthesis. As a key enabling technology, we use homogeneous catalysis approaches based on metal complexes and/or organocatalysts, and investigate important process features such as catalyst recycling, energy/material efficiencies and overall selectivity/reactivity profiles.

Selected publications

– Guo W, Martinez-Rodriguez L, Martin E, Escudero-Adan EC & Kleij AW 2016, ‘Highly Efficient Catalytic Formation of (Z)-1,4-But-2-ene Diols Using Water as a Nucleophile’, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 55, 37, 11037 – 11040.

– Guo W, Martinez-Rodriguez L, Kuniyil R, Martin E, Escudero-Adan EC, Maseras F & Kleij AW 2016, ‘Stereoselective and Versatile Preparation of Tri- and Tetrasubstituted Allylic Amine Scaffolds under Mild Conditions’, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138, 36, 11970 – 11978.

– Cai A, Guo W, Martinez-Rodriguez L & Kleij AW 2016, ‘Palladium-Catalyzed Regio- and Enantioselective Synthesis of Allylic Amines Featuring Tetrasubstituted Tertiary Carbons’, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138, 43, 14194 – 14197.

– Gómez JE, Guo W & Kleij  AW 2016, ‘Palladium-Catalyzed Stereoselective Formation of Substituted Allylic Thioethers and Sulfones’, Organic Letters, 18, 6042-6045

– Rintjema J, Epping R, Fiorani G, Martin E, Escudero-Adan EC & Kleij AW 2016, ‘Substrate-Controlled Product Divergence: Conversion of CO2 into Heterocyclic Products’, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 55, 12, 3972 – 3976.

– Guo W, Laserna V, Rintjema J, Kleij AW 2016, ‘Catalytic One-Pot Oxetane to Carbamate Conversions: Formal Synthesis of Drug Relevant Molecules’, Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis, 358, 10, 1602 – 1607.

Selected research activities

Editorial/Advisory board member for the Journal CO2 Utilization.

Chair of the conference on Carbon Dioxide Conversion Catalysis (CDCC-1), Albufeira (Portugal).

Guest editor for ChemSusChem – special on CO2 catalysis.

Invited/Keynote speaker at the 2nd Small Molecule Activation conference (Cancun), Canadian Chemistry Conference (Halifax), ICCDU-16 (Sheffield), Carisma CM1205 conference Ljubljana (Slovenia), University of Liege (Belgium), Hallam University of Sheffield (UK), University of Padova (Italy).