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Home   /   Thesis   /   Photocatalytic deoxygenation of fatty esters: towards the production of biosourced alcanes

Photocatalytic deoxygenation of fatty esters: towards the production of biosourced alcanes


Alkanes are essential molecules in the energy sector (fuels), as well as in specialty chemicals (cosmetics, adhesives, etc.) and fine chemicals. Today, they are mainly derived from non-renewable fossil resources, and their use contributes to climate change through the production of carbon dioxide. To achieve carbon neutrality, producing alkanes from renewable carbon sources such as biomass would appear to be an attractive alternative. In biomass, fatty esters of the RCO2R' type have long alkyl chains, but the presence of oxygen atoms means they are not a direct substitute for petroleum-based alkanes.

The aim of this thesis is to develop homogeneous catalytic systems for the photocatalytic deoxygenation of esters into the corresponding alkanes, by simple extrusion of a CO2 molecule. The energy required for the reduction reaction will be provided by light. Throughout this thesis project, the focus will be on developing catalytic systems and understanding reaction mechanisms through experimental studies (kinetics, NMR studies, observation of reaction intermediates, etc.) combined with theoretical chemistry (DFT calculations).


Institut rayonnement et matière de Saclay
Service Nanosciences et Innovation pour les Materiaux, la Biomédecine et l’Energie
Laboratoire de Chimie Moléculaire et de Catalyse pour l’Energie
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