ChemistryViews talks to Bert Klein Gebbink, Utrecht University, about his fascination for mangenese and iron catalysts.
Professor R. J. M. (Bert) Klein Gebbink is Vice Dean of Education and Professor at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Here, he talks with Dr. Vera Koester for ChemistryViews about his fascination with manganese and iron catalysts, as well as his deep interests in sustainability and education, while addressing the associated challenges.
Can you tell us a bit about your research?
’My research group has been working in the field of homogeneous catalysis for a long time. Over the years, our focus has shifted more and more towards sustainable and circular chemistry. At the core of our work is the design of molecular catalysts for selective transformations.
Over the years, the focus has moved from using catalysts based on noble metals to using more abundant metals as the catalytic sites in these compounds. In the past, we worked with palladium and rhenium compounds, but these days we are working with iron and manganese. Very abundant and very cheap metals, and also metals with low toxicity.’