Catalytic amination

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The world production of plastics is about 200 million tons per year, but only 10% of the production encompass bio-based plastics. However, this last category is growing fast and its market share is expected to increase significantly in the forthcoming years. With a carbon footprint between 2 to 5 Kg of COper Kg of monomers, using bio based monomers represents a huge opportunity to lower considerably the impact of non renewable carbon on greenhouse gases emissions.

One of the main prerequisites for the development of industrially relevant applications for plastics is to ensure their abundance, an optimal performance while keeping suitable mechanical properties, and an affordable cost of the raw materials to synthesize monomers. Cellulose is the most abundant and cheapest form of biomass, accounting for 40-80% of common biomass. Recently, it has been shown that 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) can be prepared from cellulose in a reduced number of steps. HMF and its derivatives are regarded as key platform molecules in bio-refineries for future industrial products. HMF could allow the access to new monomers for engineering plastics with unique properties.

BIO-EP project is intended to unlock both scientific and technological locks around HMF. The project is organized in 2 parts:

  • Development of innovative routes for the synthesis of HMF and derivatives from biomass.
  • Development of new eco-efficient catalytic processes in particular using heterogeneous catalysts for the production of highly valuable, new or existing, monomers from HMF or other biobased feedstocks that can contribute to the value chain of biomass.


As a shift from fossil feedstock, it appears that the use of biomass as a feedstock will lead to the production of many different alcohols.  The amination of alcohols into amines is an attractive strategy for the valorization of bio-based alcohols, because amines are widely used in a great deal of products from pharmaceuticals and lubricants to detergents, fabric softeners and polymers.  The ASAP (Alcohol Selective Amination Processes) team, as its name suggests, works on the selective amination of bio-based alcohols to produce new or existing high value amine products.


Own Publications

  1. "Novel route for the synthesis of 8-oxa-3-azabicyclo[3.2.1]octane: One-pot aminocyclization of 2,5-tetrahydrofurandimethanol catalyzed by Pt/NiCuAlOx”, X. Cui, H. Yuan, J-P. Li, F. De Campo, M. Pera-Titus, Y. Deng, F. Shi; Catal. Commum., (2015), 58, 195-199.   

          X. Cui, Catal. Commun., 2015, 58, pp. 195-199

  2. "Catalytic Amination of Biomass Based Alcohols”, M. Pera-Titus, F. Shi; Chem. Sus. Chem. Highlight, in press

         M. PeraTitus, F. Shi, Chem. Sus. Chem., Highlight (2014)  

  3. "Highly selective direct amination of primary alcohols over a Pd/K-OMS-2 catalyst”,  M. Ousmane, G. Perrussel, Z. Yan, J.-M. Clacens, F. De Campo, M. Pera-Titus; Journal of Catalysis, J. Cat, (2014), 309, 439-452. (DOI:

         M. Ousmane et al., JCat (2014), 309, pp 439  

  4. Selectivity enhancement in the aqueous acid-catalyzed conversion of glucose to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural induced by choline chloride", F. Liu, M. Audemar, K. De Oliveira Vigier, D. Cartigny, J-M. Clacens, M. F. Costa Gomes, A. A. H. Pádua, F. De Campo, F. Jérôme; Green Chem. (2013), 15, 3205-3213.

         F. Liu et al., Green Chem., 2013, 15, pp. 3205-3213