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Catalytic Biomass Valorization: Taming a Sustainable Future


The use of biomass feedstock is gaining momentum in both small molecule synthesis and polymer derived materials to answer to a growing need for more sustainable chemicals production. In this context, the use of waste materials with low value and converting them into high-value products creates a way to address aspects of a circular economy while maximizing incentives for academic and commercial applications. In this lecture, catalysis will be shown as a key enabling technology to use various types of biomass (terpenes, fatty acids) and carbon dioxide (probably among the most abundant carbon synthons) into synthetic precursors, polymerizable monomers and specific polymers. The overarching objective of this work is to create new opportunities for low(er) carbon footprint molecules and materials in contemporary and future applications with sustainability as an important driving force.

Prof. Dr Arjan Kleij

Prof. Dr Arjan Kleij


Arjan W. Kleij received his MSc (honors, 1996) and PhD (cum laude, 2000) in chemistry from the University of Utrecht working in the group of Prof. Gerard van Koten on the application of dendrimer- and hyperbranched polymer-supported homogeneous catalyst structures. In 2000, he moved to industry expanding his research experience, working first at Avantium as a project leader focusing on biopolymer synthesis, and at a later stage at Hexion as a research scientist in the Epoxy & Phenolic Resins Division. He joined the group of Prof. Javier de Mendoza (UAM, Madrid, Spain) as a postdoctoral fellow in 2002, and continued postdoctoral work with Prof. Joost Reek at the University of Amsterdam (2003–2005) in the field of supramolecular catalysis. In October 2006, he was offered a position as Group Leader at ICIQ, where he was promoted to ICREA professor in 2011.

In 2000 he received an NWO TALENT fellowship, was named ICREA junior fellow in 2006, and featured in the “Author Profile section” of Angewandte Chemie in 2018. In 2020 he was endowed with the Spanish RSEQ Scientific Excellence award. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2021.

He joined Organic Chemistry Frontiers (RSC) as an Associate Editor (2019) and fulfills the same role at Green Synthesis and Catalysis (Elsevier) since 2021. Further previous and ongoing editorial appointments include the Advisory Board of ChemSusChem (2016–2019), the Editorial Board for the same journal (since 2020), the Editorial Board of the Journal of CO2 Utilization (since 2017), the Advisory Board of ChemCatChem (2021) and ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2021). He has been a guest editor for Catalysis Science & Technology (2014), ChemSusChem (2017), Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis (2019), and Green Chemical Engineering (2021) arranging special issues on CO2 catalysis. In 2016, he chaired the first Carbon Dioxide Conversion Catalysis (CDCC-1) conference in Portugal and in 2019 the 4th EuCheMS Congress on Green and Sustainable Chemistry (EuGSC-4) in Tarragona. In 2021, he chairs the second virtual edition of the CCDC.

His main research interests are in the area of CO2 valorization catalysis, the development of new reactivity using organic carbonates as modular scaffolds, and the use of renewable compounds and monomers in stereoselective transformations and polymer applications. Arjan has (co)authored >200 international (journal) publications and 5 patent applications with total citations >13000 (h-index 65).





Prof. Dr. Klaus Muellen (MPI for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany)

Prof. Dr. Kurt Kremer

Prof. dr. Lothar Elling

Prof. Dr. Alexander Steinbüchel

Prof. Dr Krzysztof Matyjaszewski


The Project is carried out within the International Research Agendas PLUS programme of the Foundation for Polish Science, co-financed by The European Union under the European Regional Development Found,with the budget of: PLN 31 000 000.



Max Planck Institute

Strategic Partner
Industrial Partners

SiA Pietrucha Sp. z o.o.

Grupa Maspex sp. z o.o sp. k

Adamed Pharma S.A.

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