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Catalysis Research Center - Seminars

Biorefinery - A Design Tool for Chemicals, Soft Materials and Organic/Inorganic Hybrids

George John

Department of Chemistry, The City College of the City University of New York
New York, NY 10031, E-mail:  john@sci.ccny.cuny.edu
(http://www.sci.ccny.cuny.edu/~john/)

Abstract: This talk presents novel and emerging concept of generating various forms of soft materials from renewable resources. In future research, developing soft nanomaterials from renewable resources (an alternative feedstock) would be fascinating yet demanding practice, which will have direct impact on industrial applications, and economically viable alternatives. Our continuous efforts in this area led us to develop multiple systems based on biobased organic synthesis by chemical/ biocatalytic methods for functional applications. We used the ‘chiral pool’ of carbohydrates using the selectivity of enzyme catalysis yield amphiphilic products from biobased feedstock including amygdalin, trehalose and vitamin-C. Amygdalin amphiphiles showed unique gelation behaviour in a broad range of solvents such as non-polar hexanes to polar aqueous solutions. Importantly, an enzyme-triggered drug-delivery model for hydrophobic drugs was demonstrated by using these hierarchically assembled hydrogels. Intriguingly, by combining biocatalysis, with principles of green and supramolecular chemistry, we developed building blocks-to-assembled materials. Also address the advances that have led to the understanding of chiral behaviour and the subsequent ability to control the structure of glycolipid nanostructures, and the resulting impact of this on future material applications. These results will lead to efficient molecular design of supramolecular architectures and nanomaterials from underutilized plant/crop-based renewable feedstock. The second part of the talk addresses the templated synthesis of nanoparticles using self-assembled soft materials.

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