Welcome to the website of the Barta Group!

Research Interests
Research in the Barta group is centered around sustainability and Green Chemistry with a special focus on the conversion of renewable resources and catalysis using earth-abundant metals. Two main research lines are being pursued:

1.) Synthesis and characterization of novel heterogeneous catalysis for the cleavage of crude lignocellulose resources, including lignocellulose pre-treatment and characterization

2.) New homogeneous catalytic methods for the atom-economic functionalization of the obtained building blocks.

A variety of research lines include reductive and hydrogen-neutral depolymerisation and defunctionalization of lignin to aromatic monomers. Similarly, reductive approaches using copper catalysts are used for the conversion of cellulose and derived platform chemicals to a variety of end products. Here, the central aim is to find new concepts that allow to deal with complexity and changed material inputs and to identify causes of and minimize side reactions which lead to decreased product yields. In addition, we are involved in developing new methods for iron-catalysed coupling of alcohols and amines as well as hydrogenation of carbonyl compounds including esters also in an asymmetric fashion.

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The Group


ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Award for Prof. Katalin Barta!
Great news! Katalin was awarded the ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Award 2020, for her work on the development of sustainable catalytic solutions for lignin depolymerization and the valorization of lignocellulosic biomass!

Baltrusaitis, Barta, and Wang: 2020 Winners of the ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Awards
David T. Allen
ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2019, 7, 22, 18197-18197

Turning lignin into bioactive molecules
Medicine from lignin? It’s possible! Saravana’s work on how to obtain bioactive molecules from lignin through a waste-free, green process will be featured on the cover of ACS Central Science and was highlighted by C&EN news.

Turning lignin into bioactive molecules in three green steps

ERC Proof of Concept Grant awarded to Prof. Katalin Barta
Great news! Prof. Katalin Barta has been awarded an ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) Grant worth €150,000. The prestigious ERC PoC grant allows researchers to explore the commercial and societal potential of their ongoing ERC funded discoveries and fudning can be used for example to explore business opportunities, prepare patent applications or verify the practical viability of scientific concepts.

The awarded project ‘PURE’ aims to explore cleaner and more sustainable catalytic pathways for the conversion of renewable resources to valuable building blocks that are of interest for industrial partners.

Congratulations to all past and present group members who have made great contributions!


Interview with Katalin Barta in ChemCatChem
Professor Katalin Barta was interviewed in celebration of her Netherlands’ Catalysis and Chemistry Conference Award 2019!
Read more here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cctc.201900930

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What better way to prepare for the end of the year and the holiday season than with a Christmas dinner? πŸ™‚ Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the @Barta_Lab πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„ https://t.co/EUEGVdS1hg Barta_Lab photo

What do wood and pharmaceuticals have in common?

Researchers @univgroningen have developed a method of converting wood chips into pharmaceutically relevant compounds.