Image of an oil refienry at night


Research Interests

Scheme showing traditional vs biomass centred chemical processes.

Catalytic Hydrodeoxygenation Chemistry

  • Homo- and Heterogeneous Hydrogenation Catalysis
  • Lewis-Acid Catalyzed Dehydrations
  • Transition Metal Catalyzed Transformations of (Poly)Alcohols, Sugars and Sugar Alcohols
  • Organometallic Chemistry: Design and Development of New Ionic Homogeneous Hydrogenation and Hydrogenolysis Catalysts
  • Conversion of renewable sugars to high-value added (petro-)chemicals through Selective Hydrodeoxygenation
Reaction scheme showing the vision and research goals of the Schlaf Group.

Our Vision for the Homogeneous Ionic Hydrodeoxygenation of Glucose to
1,6-hexandiol as a polymer component.

Specifically we are interested in the:

  • Controlled catalytic deoxygenation of sugars and sugar polyols to alkenes, alkanes, oxacycles and diols and triols as polymer components using homo- and heterogeneous hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis catalysts.
  • Development of new ligands and hydrodeoxygenation catalysts with high stability in aqueous acidic media at elevated temperature.
  • Using high-level DFT methods to predict the temperature stability of ruthenium chelate complexes as catalysts on the basis of their calcualted relative stability constants.
  • Development of new hydrodeoyxgenation processes and reactions using these catalysts.
  • Development of analytical protocols for the quantitative analysis of the reaction mixtures resulting from these reactions.
  • Development of detailed thermochemical maps for the sugar(alcohol) hydrodeoxygenation reaction cascades using high-level DFT methods.

Image of a Red Mud (bauxite residue from the Bayer Process) laggon in Norther Germany. (Source Wikipedia).

Remediation and valorization of bauxite residue (Red Mud) through synergistic co-processing with other waste materials

Scheme showing the principles of the circular economy (Source: Wikipedia).

Fundamental and Policy Issues with Respect to Sustainable Systems and a Circular Economy