A Lecturer in Physical Chemistry from the Department of Chemistry, Dr Marco Conte travelled to Bogor, Indonesia for the five day workshop on the subject of ‘Materials Chemistry for Energy and the Environment workshop’ in January 2016.
15 early career researchers from the UK and 15 early career researchers from Indonesia participated in the event, with the addition of senior researchers from both countries who delivered keynote lectures.
The workshop was a platform for scientists from both countries attempting to tackle challenges such as how to make biomasses a real source of energy,to unlock water splitting reaction for the production of hydrogen and oxygen, and green chemistry applications for the prevention of waste formation in chemical processes or the search for energy-efficient chemical processes. Approaches discussed involved heterogeneous catalysis, photocatalysis, and electrocatalysis with particular emphasis on the materials at the basis of these applications.
Dr Conte presented his work discussing energy-efficient and selective chemical processes for the oxidation of alcohols to ketones that made use of supported metal nanoparticles. Ketones are important precursors for the food and drug industry and it would be essential to be able to obtain them from an alcohol substrate by using molecular oxygen as ultimate oxidant under mild conditions. This would be mean more energy-efficient reactions and decreasing amounts of pollutants.
This workshop was funded by Newton Fund British Council and Royal Society of Chemistry, with the support from the University of Aberdeen and Universitas Indonesia.