University of Birmingham: Friščić green chemistry group to join University of Birmingham this autumn

The goal of the group is to discover new chemistries, and eliminate the need for solvents in chemical reactions.

Solvents currently form around 90% or more of a typical chemical reaction and contribute to the vast amounts of toxic waste attributed to the global chemical industry. Globally, 30 and 60 million tons of solvents are used every year, and many of them are extremely harmful to health and the environment.

To achieve this, the Friščić group is developing efficient and new methodologies based on mechanical force (mechanochemistry), light (photochemistry), as well as other types of energy input.

Based in the School of Chemistry, the group will be led by Tomislav Friščić, who will hold the role of Leverhulme International Chair in Green and Sustainable Chemistry.

The move is being supported by the Leverhulme International Professorship, which aims to attract an enthusiastic and diverse team of researchers to help the transformation of chemical research and industrial manufacturing towards more efficient, and more sustainable processes. In particular, the professorship focuses on mechanochemistry, photochemistry, as well as green synthesis and materials technologies in general.

Collaborations and open-minded approach are at the core of the group. It has established productive, exciting and fun collaborations with a number of research teams and industries, ranging from mining and metal processing, to pharmaceuticals and greener fuel technologies.

Tomislav Friščić is currently a professor and Tier-1 Canada Research Chair in Mechanochemistry and Solid-state Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, McGill University. He is a co-author on almost 290 peer-reviewed publications (cited almost 25,000 times), book chapters and patent applications, and is a co-founder of two “CleanTech” start-up companies.