Fabio Aricò, Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Ca’ Foscari University, Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, has recently received the prestigious IUPAC-Zhejiang NHU International Award for Advancements in Green Chemistry as experienced chemist for his research achievements within the field of Green Chemistry.
The award was presented during the 47° Congress of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, which took place in Paris from July 8 to 12, 2019.
Three early career chemists have also been awarded alongside Aricò: Mingxin Liu from McGill University (Canada), Xiaofu Sun from the Beijing Academy of Sciences (China) and Julian West from Rice University, Texas.
The award was conferred in recognition of Professor Aricò’s achievements in employing dialkyl carbonates in biorefinery and bio-based platform chemicals development via chlorine-free chemistry.
Fabio Aricò has started working in the field of Green Chemistry in 2005 after being awarded his Ph.D. at Reading University and occupying a postdoc position at UCLA (2003-2005), working in the group of Sir J. F. Stoddart - Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2016.
His research interests within Green Chemistry aim at developing innovative reaction pathways, in particular focusing on chlorine-free synthetic approaches using dialkyl carbonates, ecofriendly reagents and solvents to synthesize new compounds from bio-based substrates so as to substitute petroleum-derived molecules.
His research in the field of biorefinery has led him to investigate the preparation and reactivity of several bio-based platform chemicals, with interesting applications as green solvents, additives for fuels and monomers for polymers.
More recently, he has also started to study a new family of organic carbonates, the so-called “Mustard” carbonates, due to their similarities with the infamous, highly toxic Mustard gas, which was used as a chemical weapon in WWI. These new compounds have been shown to preserve the high reactivity of mustard gas (via the intrinsic anchimeric effect) without retaining the toxicity of mustard gas, and thus they can safely be used for the synthesis of novel chemical intermediates that could not be previously obtained.