Department of Chemistry

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Given topics for the Trial Lecture at the Department of Chemistry

Examples of given topics for the Trial Lecture at the Department of Chemistry.

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Combining data from different analytical platforms - why and how

Data fusion is the process of combining raw data from several sources, such as different analytical instruments. Different types of data, such as e.g., mass spectra and NMR spectra, contain complementary information. The fused data set has thus the possibility of generating more useful information than any of the individual sources. This talk will demonstrate situations in which data fusion is advantageous by highlighting some applications in chemistry and chemistry-related fields. To give a more in-depth analysis, basic theory and algorithms will also be presented.

Shape memory polymers and shape memory foams. Properties, mechanism and applications.

N-heterocyclic carbenes as ligands in homogeneous catalysis

The last two decades have seen remarkable advances in the use of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) as ancillary ligands in catalysts based on transition metals. Whereas phosphines were once the dominating dative ligands in catalysis, many carbenes are now commercially available for this purpose, and NHC-based catalysts now set the standards in a range of key organic transformations. In this trial lecture, the history and background for the use of N-heterocyclic carbenes as ligands in homogeneous catalysts will be presented. Next, the main steric and electronic properties of this relatively modern class of dative ligand will be discussed, in particular in relation to the catalytic activity and selectivity that these ligands are able to promote.

Viscoelastic surfactants - generation of supramolecular structure and applications

New chemical insight from X-ray free electron lasers

Plastics from renewable resources - what are the realistic options?

Petrochemicals are used in a wide variety of everyday products, including plastics. With the increasing focus on green transformations we have been seeing for the last decade, the production of polymers for plastics from renewable resources has received much interest. Sustainable plastic production requires a feedstock from a renewable resource which can be converted to monomers that either are chemically identical to the monomers used in in the petrohemically based polymers, or provide a basis for novel polymer structures with properties that correspond to conventional plastics.  This presentation will give an overview of the trends in the research on renewable plastics, and give a critical evaluation of the best possibilities for production of renewable plastics in the near future

The world's first soft and hard X-ray free-electron laser facilities have been available to the scientific community since 2005 (FLASH) and 2009(LCLS), respectively. Chemists make up an important user group at these and similar facilities. Why are these facilities of interest to chemists, what kind of chemical insight has been obtained by means of X-ray free electron lasers thus far, and what are the future perspectives?

Applications of NMR and MRI in Chemical Engineering

NMR and MRI are finding increasing use in chemical engineering (CE) mainly due to their ability to characterise materials and chemical processes/reactions in situ and without changing the properties of the material (non-invasive measurements). The lecture will describe the strengths and limitations of these techniques compared to alternative experimental approaches with respect to both static and dynamical properties and processes. The diversity in and potential of NMR and MRI applications in CE will be exemplified, with identification of chemical information where relevant.

Artificial enzymes

Artificial enzymes are man-made catalysts that mimic the function of naturally occurring enzymes. A particular feature of enzymes is their ability to bind molecules, or substrates, in a geometrically controlled fashion, and to carry out highly specific and selective reactions on those substrates. As nature's enzymes typically are both more active and selective than traditional man-made catalysts, researchers have long turned to Nature for inspiration. The history and current status of man-made enzymes will be described. The presentation will in particular focus on the capabilities and uses of artificial enzymes and how they may be designed for specific purposes.

Methods development and applications of liquid-liquid chromatography in organic synthesis

Synthesis and Reactivity of Carbenes

Importance on the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids for human health

In the past three decades, total fat and saturated fat intake as percentage of total calories has continuously deceased in Western diets, resulting in a large increase in the omega-6/omega3 ratio from 1: 1 during evolution to 20:1 today or even higher. This change has been claimed to contribute to the epidemic of modern disease. The lecture will give an introduction to the chemistry of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, including biosynthesis, properties and dietary sources. Further will the importance of the omega-6/omega-3 ratio be discussed related to human health; Mechanism of action, what is possible optimum balance and what factors affects this balance.

Stereospecificity - a medical and synthetic challenge


Chemicals and fuels from catalytic conversion of lignin - opportunities and challenges

Lignin represents an opportunity for meeting the demand for a renewable platform for the production of fuels and chemicals. While the concept of lignin utilization to produce high-value products is not new, reaction schemes for the efficient, high yield conversion of lignin remains a significant challenge. While not comprehensive, this lecture will give an introduction to the chemistry of catalytic conversion of lignin to high-value products for the biofuel- and chemical industry. Specifically it will address the current status of large-scale catalytic conversion of lignin and identify some of the opportunities and main challenges for the future.

Chemicals and fuels from marine algal biomass - status and future perspectives

Marine photosynthetic organisms produce biomass by capturing CO2 and organic nutrients dissolved in water using sunlight as an energy source. The biomass thus produced has potential for production of biofuels and other high value products. As a result conversion of macro- and microalgae to biofuels has been subject to extensive academic and industrial research, particularly during the last decade. This lecture will give an introduction to the chemistry of conversion of algal biomass to high-value products for the biofuel- and chemical industry, focusing on current status and future perspectives.

Constructive alignment in university teaching - what is it, and why should we care?

Constructive alignment is a principle used in educational theory. Teaching and learning activities, as well as the assement(s) addresses the learning outcomes more directly than what is common in regular university teaching. The talk will give an introduction to the concept of constructive alignment, and demonstrate how constructive alignment influences the choice of teaching activities and form of assessment, with emphasis on science education. Examples on methods for active learning and assessments within the framework of constructive alignment will be given.

Effect-directed analysis (EDA) for monitoring of aquatic environments

The aquatic environments are contaminated with very complex mixtures of anthropogenic chemicals. The identification of toxic compounds, and their causative link to ecotoxic effects, cannot be addressed only target analysis. Effect-directed analysis (EDA) is a sampling and testing strategy that combines fractionation procedures and advanced analytic chemistry with bioassay screening, in order to reduce the complexity and identify chemicals that might cause adverse effects. This lecture will give an overview of the EDA-based strategies for quality monitoring of aquatic environments, including an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of this approach through several case studies.

Biosurfactants and their applications in the food industry

Biosurfactants are compounds of biological origin that have surfactant properties. In addition to traditional use of natural surfactants as emulsifiers and thickeners in food, the recent interest in natural rather than synthetic constituents in food production provides an opportunity for developing new types of biosurfactants for industrial use. However, the requirements for such new products are strict, and new options are only beginning to become viable. This presentation will review the chemical structure and properties of the major biosurfactant types, give examples of how they are used as e.g. emulsifiers or stabilisers in food, and describe the requirements that must be fulfilled when developing new biosurfactants for use in edible products.

Shale oil and gas production – What is it , and why all the controversies?

Modern drilling techniques (horizontal drilling) and hydraulic fracturing  (fracking) have made oil and gas in shale accessible for recovery.
The lecture will give an overview  of the oil- and gas containing shales (what they are,where they are, etc.) and the techniques employed to recover these petroleum resources.
The lecture will also  address the questions that have been raised regarding the safety and the environmental impact of the fracking technique.

Green chemistry and renewable sources for industrial chemicals

Metal-organic frameworks for application in electronics and photonics

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are self-assembled from inorganic and  organic chemical moieties. The properties of MOFs usually reflect the intrinsic properties of the constituent building blocks. In addition,  synergetic effects may enable the application of these hybrid materials  in areas beyond that expected from the isolated starting materials. For  instance, MOFs are usually insulators because the inorganic metal centers are separated from each other by non-conducting organic linker molecules. Still, a growing number of electronically and optically  active MOFs have been reported recently, thus opening for new and  exciting applications within electronics, thermoelectrics,  photocatalysis, sensing, photonics and energy storage. The presentation  will introduce these new application areas and focus on the specific  chemical and structural features that determine and control the  electronic and optical properties of the MOFs.

Imidazoles – Properties and biomedical applications

The imidazole ring is present in a broad range of natural and synthetic compounds, where it often plays crucial roles in mediating pharmacological activities, binding of metal ions and in enzymatic reactions.
This lecture will give an introduction to the chemistry and properties of imidazoles, and will demonstrate the importance of the imidazole ring through examples from biological chemistry and drug discovery. Emphasis will be put on the link between chemical properties and the mode of action of biologically active imidazoles.

Marine natural products as drugs - achievements and challenges from the chemist´s point of view

The natural product-based drug discovery depends largely on the continuous supply of novel natural agents. Although the unexplored natural product universe is still ample, it is not an easy task to find novel agents from nature. To address this challenge untapped biological resources such as the marine environment, have been paid increasingly attention.
The first part of the presentation will cover the main variety of marine natural products used as drugs. Different challenges in the analysis of marine natural products will be illustrated, and the different properties of marine and terrestrial drugs will be compared - for instance with respect to hydrophobicity. 

Plastics from renewable resources - what are the realistic options?

Petrochemicals are used in a wide variety of everyday products, including plastics. With the increasing focus on green transformations we have been seeing for the last decade, the production of polymers for plastics from renewable resources has received much interest. Sustainable plastic production requires a feedstock from a renewable resource which can be converted to monomers that either are chemically identical to the monomers used in in the petrohemically based polymers, or provide a basis for novel polymer structures with properties that correspond to conventional plastics.  This presentation will give an overview of the trends in the research on renewable plastics, and give a critical evaluation of the best possibilities for production of renewable plastics in the near future.

Self-healing polymers

Self-healing industrial materials have received increasing attention in recent years. They have the ability to transform physical energy into a chemical and/or physical response to heal material damage. If industrial materials are equipped with a self-healing property like the living organism, safety, efficacy, and reliability for materials are significantly improved and human societies can prevent tragic incidents. The present lecture will review the important aspects of and trends in the field of self-healing polymeric materials. The main focus will be on mechanisms and applications.

Valorisation of food waste for the production of chemicals and materials - status and future potential

It is estimated that one-third of the total global food production is wasted each year. While most of the food waste today has generally few uses different from landfilling or composting, advanced valorisation alternatives are now in the initial phase. The lecture will cover the spectrum of products ranging from biofuels to commodity chemicals and biofertilizers produced from food waste. It will further highlight the future potential in valorisation of food waste.

Electrocatalytic upgrading of small molecules: Status and outlook

Electrocatalysis has received attention as a strategy for conversion of wind and solar power to chemical energy and value-added chemicals. Prime examples are water splitting to give molecular hydrogen, nitrogen fixation to ammonia, and carbon dioxide reduction to carbon monoxide, methanol, methane, and other products. The lecture will start by giving an overview of the principles of electrocatalysis. Next, the major achievements in the electrocatalytic upgrading of small-molecules (principally H2O, CO2, and N2) will be summarized along with the key remaining obstacles and challenges, in particular with respect to large-scale industrial uptake of such processes.

Geochemical aspects of geologic carbon storage (GCS)

Geological carbon storage (GCS) is an approach being explored globally as a means of climate change mitigation. Methods of GCS include direct injection into nearly depleted oil and gas reservoirs, un-mineable coal seams, and deep saline aquifers. Geologic CO2 sequestration is also possible when combined with enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and enhanced coalbed methane recovery.

Geochemical reactions affect trapping mechanisms and plays an important role in CO2 storage. In this presentation, key geochemical reactions for CO2 storage in subsurface reservoirs will be discussed, in addition to their impacts on multiphase reactive transport and environmental risk. Future research directions and long-term management will also be addressed

Comparison of energy sources and transport alternatives using life cycle assessment

The search for energy sources with higher energy efficiency and lower environmental impact has increased rapidly in recent years. This has led to the development of new approaches to calculate the net energy gain of different energy sources and transport alternatives.In the lecture key factors such as energy payback ratio, energy efficiency, sustainability, etc. are introduced and defined. These parameters will be used to compare life cycle energy gain and consumption for different energy sources including a discussion of CO2 footprint, degree of renewability and sustainability. Specifically, power sources such as hydro, wind and solar will be compared to hydrocarbon gas and coal.

Synthesis and applications of marine alkaloids - achievements and challenges

Alkaloids are nitrogen containing natural products with significant biological activity. Marine alkaloids, have a complex and unique chemical structure, which have been reported to exhibit anti-tumor, anti-fungus, anti-viral, anti-malaria, and anti-osteoporosis activities. However, the potential of these compounds, as active principles of future medicines, has hitherto not been fully exploited. Clinical research and industrial production have been limited by high cytotoxicity and low selectivity of several of these compounds, in addition to the limited amounts that can be obtained by extraction and chromatographic isolation from marine sources. Therefore, marine alkaloid derivatives and analogues have been obtained via rational drug design and chemical synthesis to develop increased selectivity and application.

This trial lecture provides an overview of recent developments related to marine alkaloids and structural analogues in the field of medical chemistry, with emphasis on anti-cancer drugs, including their discovery, chemical synthesis, biological activity, and structure–activity relationship (SAR).

Transition from Gold Rush to Energy Efficient Utilization of Reserves – How the Middle East Region Became a Hot Bed for Enhanced Oil Recovery

The Middle East region has about 50% of the worlds proven oil reserves. This has a major influence on world politics and economy. Since the early discoveries and the boom in the 1960’s, oil production has been increasing from this region. However, now the numbers of “easy” oil fields are fewer and the more “difficult” ones remain to be developed. This comes at the same time as the demand for energy shift to greener energy and “peak oil” may come as early as this decade (2020-2030) for the Middle East. All the leading countries in the region have economic diversification plans to meet the new reality.

In this connection, improved utilization of existing fields and minimizing the energy demand for development of new fields is becoming increasingly important also in the Middle East. Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) refers to chemicals added to injection water, injection enriched gas, and thermal processes which improve the oil recovery compared to conventional oil recovery methods. EOR is a key to reduce the energy requirements for oil recovery. The centre for EOR was in the early days, before 1980, in the USA, but later Europe picked up the role as technology leader and recently, the centre for EOR pilots and trials have moved on to the Middle East region.

This lecture should highlight the history of EOR in the Middle East region, results obtained, and the current plans for new pilots and field implementation. The processes reported should include chemical methods, like surfactant, polymers and solvents soluble in water, and gas injection methods including CO2 utilisation for EOR and for sequestration.

Novel foods – possibilities and future perspectives

Novel Food is defined as food that had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997, when the first Regulation on novel food came into force.

Novel Food can be newly developed, innovative food, food produced using new technologies and production processes, as well as food which is or has been traditionally eaten outside of the EU.

Examples of Novel Food include new extracts from existing food, agricultural products from third countries, or food derived from new production processes. The underlying principles underpinning Novel Food in the European Union are that Novel Foods must be:

  • Safe for consumers
  • Properly labelled, so as not to mislead consumers
  • If novel food is intended to replace another food, it must not differ in a way that the consumption of the Novel Food would be nutritionally disadvantageous for the consumer.

The trial lecture will present an overview of the possibilities and future perspectives related to the manufacture and applications of novel food, with a special emphasis on the chemical principles and processes involved.

Chemistry of functional foods

Nutraceuticals or functional foods are foods that provide both health benefits to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and basic nutrition. Functional foods are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. Functional foods are claimed to promote optimal health and help reduce the risk of disease. The positive health effects of functional foods are explained by their content of a number of bioactive natural products. This lecture provides an overview of the most important classes of bioactive natural products present in functional foods, as well as the specific and potential health benefits associated with intake of these compounds.

Electrochemical applications of hydrogels

Battery driven cars, solar cells, and environmentally friendly production of energy carriers like hydrogen currently enjoy significant attention in the broad public. In parallel, electrochemistry has become a highly topical field of research and innovation. Hydrogels are versatile materials that can be tailored to and applied in a diverse range of applications. In this presentation, their use in electrochemical applications will be reviewed. Examples include, but are not limited to, electrochemical and photoelectrochemical hydrogen production, implementation in electrochemical sensor systems, electrolytes in capacitors or in batteries, conducting polymers. The benefit of the porous structure of the specific hydrogel for the presented property and application will be highlighted. Major achievements and obstacles and challenges to the adoption of hydrogels in the presented application areas will be summarized.

Materials and advances in electrochemical CO2 reduction

Carbon capture with underground storage (CCS) is typically suggested as solution to prevent accumulation of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. However, the captured carbon can also be used as a chemical raw material in a carbon capture usage process (CCU), which is the topic of this presentation. Using excess electrical energy from renewable sources for electrochemical CO2 conversion is a particularly attractive option, and as such the presentation will focus on the development of materials and processes for electrochemical CO2 reduction to desired products. In addition to giving an overview over advances in materials and processes development within this field, the presentation will also describe challenges that remain to be addressed, and give an outlook on future developments and the potential for adoption of these processes.

Strategies to Reduce the Carbon Footprint in the Oil Industry

The oil industry will continue to be a major energy supplier for decades to come, even in the most optimistic scenarios for renewable energy development. A key question is thus how the oil industry can reduce its carbon footprint and improve its energy efficiency, and to what extent the research focus of the industry today is guided by this.

Electrification of offshore oil and gas production facilities is an obvious element in the search for lower CO2 emissions in the oil industry. CO2 capture and storage are also envisioned to be important elements in this regard. However, this strategy is accompanied by an extra energy demand, and thus the possibility of extra CO2-emissions, due to capture, transport, and injection/surface-to-reservoir compression at the high-pressure storage site. This inevitably raises the question of how much extra CO2 is generated to enable effective storage of CO2.

The lecture will present an overview over different strategies to reduce the carbon footprint in the oil industry, as well as to what extent these are pursued by industry. Further, it will provide a quantification of the energy efficiency of the Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) process, and a discussion on how this process may have the potential to become economic in combination with EOR (CCUS-EOR).

De Novo Drug Design: Methods and Application

De novo drug design, i.e., the automated, incremental construction, virtual testing, and optimization of candidate pharmaceuticals, has been a major goal in computer-aided drug discovery for decades. This presentation will discuss the underlying methods involved, the historical and current role played by de novo design in drug development, and the key remaining challenges.