Prof. Arjan W. Kleij


Group Leader:

Arjan W. Kleij, ICREA Professor

Administrative Support:

Ingrid Mateu

Postdoctoral Researchers:

Bart Limburg / Francesco de la Monica (until Aug.) / Debasish Ghorai /  Jeroen Rintjema (until Mar.) / David Lamparelli / Dimitrios Skoulas / MAtteo Lanzi / Arianna Brandolese / Thirusangu Senthamarai / Balazs Toth

PhD Students:

Alèria García / Àlex Cristofol (until Oct.) / Cristina Maquilón / Kun Guo (until Dec.) / Sijing Xue (until Dec.) / Chang Qiao / Alba Villar / Gaia Stojanovic


Visting Students:

Marta Romero Ribas / Diego Meneses Sanchez


The group of Prof. Kleij focuses on the conversion of small molecules, such as CO2, into heterocyclic compounds useful in the synthesis of fine chemical and pharmaceutical products. The carboxylative conversion of these heterocycles and related structures is used to discover new stereo and enantioselective transformations with the ultimate goal of synthesizing relevant and complex molecules. In addition, biomass compounds such as terpenes are used to design different types of polyesters and polycarbonates with new properties of potential interest for industry.


Can CO2 and Renewable Carbon Be Primary Resources for Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals?
Hasan, M. M. F.; Rossi, L. M.; Debecker, D. P.; Leonard, K. C.; Li, Z.; Makhubela, B. C. E.; Zhao, C.; Kleij, A: W.
ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 20219 (37), 12427–12430

Photocatalytic Synthesis of Substituted Cyclic Carbonate Monomers for Ring-Opening Polymerization
Maquilón, C.; Della Monica, F.; Limburg, B.; Kleij, A.
Adv. Synth. Catal. 2021363, 4033-4040

Formation of beta-cyano-ketones through cyanide-promoted ring-opening of cyclic organic carbonates
Ni, J.; Cristofol, A.; Kleij, A. W.
Org. Chem. Front. 20218, 4520-4526


Asymmetric Synthesis of Homoallylic Alcohols Featuring Vicinal Tetrasubstituted Carbon Centers via Dual Pd/Photoredox Catalysis
Xue, S.; Limburg, B.; Ghorai, D.; Benet-Buchholz, J.; Kleij; A. W.
Org. Lett. 202123 (11), 4447–4451

Pd/Cu Dual Catalyzed Asymmetric Synthesis of Highly Functional All‐Carbon Quaternary Stereocenters from Vinyl Carbonates
Xue, S.; Lucht, A.; Benet-Buchholz, J.; Kleij, A. W.
Chem. Eur. J. 202127 (39), 10107-10114

Expedient Dual Co/Organophotoredox Catalyzed Stereoselective Synthesis of All‐Carbon Quaternary Centers
Cristofol, A.; Limburg, B.; Kleij, A. W.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 202160 (28), 15266-15270

Organocatalytic and Halide-Free Synthesis of Glycerol Carbonate under Continuous Flow
Zanda, N.; Sobolewska, A.; Alza, E.; Kleij, A. W.; Pericàs, M. A.
ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 20219 (12), 4391–4397

Synthesis and Characterization of Biobased Polyesters with Tunable Tg by ROCOP of Beta-Elemene Oxides and Phthalic Anhydride
Della Monica, F.; Kleij, A. W.
ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 20219 (7), 2619-2625

Recent progress in the catalytic transformation of carbon dioxide into biosourced organic carbonates
Aomchad, V.; Cristofol, A.; Della Monica, F.; Limburg, B.; D’Elia, V.; Kleij, A. W.
Green Chem. 202123, 1077-1113

Cu‐mediated Dichotomic Borylation of Alkyne Carbonates: Stereoselective Access to (E)‐1,2‐Diborylated 1,3‐Dienes versus Traceless Monoborylation affording α‐Hydroxyallenes
Guo, K.; Kleij, A: W.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 202160 (9), 4901-4906


Design and Scale Up of Biobased Functionalized Polycarbonates for Adhesive and Coating Applications
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación | Ref: PDC2021-120952-I00

Advancing the Catalytic Construction of Quaternary Stereocenters 
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación | Ref: PID2020-112684GB-100

Carbon MonoPoly
Training Network in Innovative CO2 Transformations and Valorization Route

Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación | Ref: EIN2020-112346

Tecnologías Químicas para la Valorización de Residuos Industriales en los Pirineos

Collaborative Projects | Ref: EFA308/19
Project Website

Sintesis Estereo y Enantioselectiva para la Valorización de Heterociclos Funcionales

Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación | Ref: CTQ2017-88920-P

Valorització de Molècules Petites en Síntesis fina i Formació de Biopolímers
AGAUR | Ref: 2017 SGR 232


Theses Supervised

Àlex Cristofol
October 8th, 2021
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
‘Stereoselective Transformations of Vinyl Cyclic Carbonates and Applications in Natural Product Synthesis’

Cristina Maquilón
October 11th, 2021
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
‘New and Functional Cyclic Carbonates for Polymer Applications’

Sijing Xue
December 10th, 2021
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
‘Dual Transition Metal/Photoredox Catalysis for the Synthesis of Quaternary Carbon Stereocenters’

Kun Guo
December 20th, 2021
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
‘Copper and Nickel Promoted Transformations of Alkyne based Cyclic Carbonates’



The expanding possibilities of bio-based polymers