Hans de Vries

Professor of Homogeneous catalysis
University of Groningen

Within ARC CBBC, I wish to accomplish…

I strongly believe that a large part of the innovation in the chemical industry will be related to a switch to renewable resources. This is what I am an expert in. Even with current oil prices, many of today’s bulk chemicals could already be produced from renewables using a sequence of catalytic steps. In this program, I would hope to develop either a new process for an existing chemical or to set up a collaboration with one of the companies involved to develop new products with desired properties from renewables at a cost price, compatible with the current range of products.

In my scientific career, I am most proud of…

The development of a new class of structurally very simple chiral ligands for asymmetric hydrogenation. These ligands can be synthesized in just two steps. This in turn has enabled the parallel synthesis of these ligands using a liquid dispensing robot. In this way we could synthesise 96 new ligands overnight and screen them the next day. This has allowed us to very quickly find an economic process for the production of an intermediate for a blood pressure lowering agent, which was implemented on 10 ton scale.

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