Research group


Our research activities currently focus on the valorization/upgrading of carbon dioxide and renewable feedstocks into value-added organic molecules using rational organocatalytic and metal-mediated catalytic approaches. In order to achieve these goals we use highly functional organic cyclic carbonates as versatile and accessible synthetic precursors. A primary focus is on sustainable solutions thereby improving on (1) overall activity and chemo-selectivity, and (2) stereo-chemical features. Our targeted portfolio of organic structures include oxazolidinones, CO2-based (bio)polymers and more complex organic matter derived from stereo-selective or enantioselective coupling approaches; examples are substituted allylic compounds and chiral amino acid derivatives. An important part of our work puts attention to new catalyst design and efforts to reach a higher level of understanding concerning the observed reactivity/selectivity features by means of mechanistic and computational studies. Collaborations with the industrial sector having interest in bio-based polymers form also part of our work in order to be able to transfer technological advancements from bench to and beyond pilot scale.

Topics addressed

  • CO2 to Carbonates
  • CO2 to Fine Chemicals:
  • CO2/Renewables to Polymers:


“Palladium-Catalyzed Stereoselective Formation of Substituted Allylic Thioethers and Sulfones”
Org. Lett. (2016) 18 – 6042-6045
José Enrique Gómez, Wusheng Guo, Arjan W. Kleij*

“Palladium-Catalyzed Regio- and Enantio-Selective Synthesis of Allylic Amines Featuring Tetrasubstituted Tertiary Carbons”
J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2016) 138 – 14194-14197
Aijie Cai, Wusheng Guo*, Luis MartĂ­nez-RodrĂ­guez, Arjan W. Kleij*

“Aluminum Catalyzed formation of Functional 1,3,2-Dioxathiolane 2-Oxides from Sulfur Dioxide: An Easy Entry towards N-Substituted Aziridines“
Adv. Synth. Catal. (2016) 358 – 3832-3839
Victor Laserna, Eddy Martin, Eduardo C. Escudero-Adán and Arjan W. Kleij*