Prof Mario Pagliaro (Palermo Italy) gave two talks on June 8th and 9th.
The first lecture “Sol-Gel Catalysts: Making Green Chemistry Possible” focused on the materials sourced from organically modified silica gels (ORMOSIL). A great variety of catalysts can be prepared with such materials used as a support. For instance, ORMOSIL-supported immobilized palladium nanoparticles allow hydrogenation of nitro arenes and unsaturated fatty acids and catalysts containing gold nanoparticles can be efficiently used for reductive dehalogenation in water treatment.
In the second talk “Chemistry for Bioeconomy: from Discussion to Action”, Prof. Pagliaro expanded on the concept of bioeconomy which he defines as “a system where substances, polymers and materials are sourced from a renewable feedstock using solar, wind and water energy”. Sustainable development technologies are particularly in demand nowadays because traditional fossil resources such as oil, gas and coal are headily depleting. Solar power generation doubles every two and a half years and new technologies help manufacture high-end solar cells and cut down electricity costs.
Prof. Pagliaro finished the lecture with an exciting story about novel technologies for waste recycling and preparation of a number of biologically valuable compounds (pectin, omega-3 fatty acids, and natural antioxidants) from renewable natural sources.
The lectures gathered a big audience with a lively Q&A sessions by the end of the day.
The lecturer had been invited by Prof. V.P. Ananikov in the framework of the new education project of Zelinsky Institute.