Arjan W. Kleij

Arjan W. Kleij

Institut Català d'Investigació Química

Experimental Sciences & Mathematics

MSc (with honors) and PhD (Cum Laude) from the University of Utrecht (Netherlands). In 2002 he moved to Spain as a NWO TALENT fellow with Javier de Mendoza, followed by 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) and senior research scientist (Hexion). In 2006, he returned to Spain as an ICREA Researcher and ICIQ Group Leader, and was promoted to ICREA Research Professor in 2011. He is member of several advisory borads (Current Organic Chemistry, Journal of CO2 Utilization) and editorial boards (ChemSusChem, Molecules). Guest editorships for Catal. Sci. & Technol., ChemSusChem and Adv. Synth. Catal.; chairman of the CDCC conference in Portugal in 2016 & 2020, chair of the EUGSC-4 conference in 2019; Associate Editor for Organic Chemistry Frontiers. Citations >9900, h-index of around 56.

Research interests

The research of my group focuses on the valorization of small molecules (including CO2) into value-added chemicals and materials. We design new and more sustainable catalytic methods for their conversion and use in organic synthesis. 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. In all these endeavors, we wish to solve challenging stereoselective and enantioselective transformations including those focusing on the preparation of compounds featuring challenging quaternary stereocenters.

Selected publications

– Enrique Gomez J, Cristofol A & Kleij AW 2019, ‘Copper-Catalyzed Enantioselective Construction of Tertiary Propargylic Sulfones’, Angewandte Chemie-international Edition, Vol. 58, 12, 3903 – 3907.

– Hu L, Cai A, Wu Z, Kleij AW & Huang G 2019, ‘A Mechanistic Analysis of the Palladium-Catalyzed Formation of Branched Allylic Amines Reveals the Origin of the Regio- and Enantioselectivity through a Unique Inner-Sphere Pathway’, Angewandte Chemie-international Edition, Vol. 58, 41, pp. 14694-14702.

– Cai A & Kleij AW 2019, ‘Regio- and Enantioselective Preparation of Chiral Allylic Sulfones Featuring Elusive Quaternary Stereocenters’, Angewandte Chemie-international Edition, Vol 58, 42, pp. 14944-14949.

– Huang R, Rintjema J, González-Fabra J, Martín E, Escudero-Adán EC, Bo C, Urakawa A & Kleij AW 2019, ‘Deciphering key intermediates in the transformation of carbon dioxide into heterocyclic products’, Nat. Catal., 2, pages62–70.

Selected research activities

– Chair of the 4th EUGSC Conference on Green & Sustainable Chemistry (Tarragona, Spain); Associate Editor for Organic Chemistry Frontiers (RSC); Invited guest editor for Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis, for an issue on CO2 catalysis; Invited editorial board member for ChemSusChem (Wiley); chair of the 2019 ICIQ Summer School on New CO2 Transformation Technologies; co-organizer of the symposium “Catalytic Small Molecule Activation and CO2 valorization at the 2019 BIENAL (RSEQ) in San Sebastián

– Invited Keynotes: 2019 International Green and Sustainable Chemistry Conference (Beijing, China); 2019 ICCDU (Aachen, Germany)

– Invited Lectures: at various companies – Lubrizol, MercaChem, Syncom; at various universities – Amsterdam (NL), Groningen (NL), UB Barcelona (ES), Chengdu (China), Xi´an (China), Salerno (Italy).

– Board member of evaluation panels for promotion of international scientists in the UK (2) and Taiwan (1), member of 6 PhD thesis tribunals.