Young chemist will focus on Bismuth

Mauro Mato announced as new Marie Curie fellow of the European Union

May 25, 2022

Dr. Mauro Mato, Postdoc at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, will receive a Marie Curie-Fellowship of the European Union. The young chemist will work with Bismuth. 

To make catalytic processes easier, cheaper and more sustainable: these are some of the goals that researchers at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung strive for. Dr. Mauro Mato, a 29-year old chemist from Spain who works in the research group of Dr. Josep Cornellà, wants to take a closer look at the recently born field of bismuth redox catalysis, and apply it into cross-coupling reactions.

Cross-coupling reactions describe a certain type of chemical transformation where two molecular fragments are joined together with the help of a metal catalyst as “meeting point”. Redox-active transition metals are the established tools for promoting these reactions, but they are often expensive (noble metals such as palladium) or toxic.

“In comparison to other metals that are used for catalytic purposes, bismuth can have several advantages”, Mauro Mato explains. “There are economic and environmental reasons”, he says, “as bismuth is more readily available, and less toxic than other metals “. Also, the special properties of bismuth as a “main-group” element, might lead to the discovery of unprecedented coupling reactions, which cannot be achieved through traditional “transition-metal” catalysis.

“Cross-Bit” funded by the European Union 

For his project “Cross-Bit” Mauro Mato will be funded with one of the highly competitive Postdoctoral Fellowships of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) of the European Union. His proposal was one of only 1156 that were accepted, the success rate in the field of chemistry was 14 percent.

Mauro Mato has been working at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung for six months now. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of A Coruña and his PhD at ICIQ in Tarragona, under the supervision of Prof. Antonio Echavarren.

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