Kentucky Lake Section

Serving Chemists in Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Northwestern Tennessee

April Meeting

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Thursday April 27, 2017 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
University of Tennessee at Martin  (map)

April KLS Meeting (Co-hosted by UTM SMACS)


Date: Thursday April 27th


Location: University of Tennessee at Martin

5:30-6:45pm Dinner in the UTM Dining Hall (Back Room), Boling University Center, 133 University St, Martin, TN (Guest parking is available in the lot adjacent to the University Center and in the lot across the street.)

7:00-8:00pm Green Chemistry Seminar, Andy Holt Humanities Building (Auditorium, Rm 121)

7:00-8:00pm Kid’s Science Center, Andy Holt Humanities Building (TBA)

Presenter: Rui Zhang, Professor at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green KY.


Seminar Title: Biomimetic Studies and Photochemical Generation of High-Valent Reactive Metal-Oxo Species for the Selective Aerobic Oxidations


Seminar Abstract:

High-valent transition metal-oxo species are active oxidizing species in many metal-catalyzed oxidation reactions in both Naturevia high-valent transition metal-oxo species using molecular oxygen and visible light (sunlight). This presentation will first describe our ongoing efforts to explore photochemical approaches to access high-valent metal-oxo species and directly study their oxidation reactions. Secondly, we will show that the diruthenium(IV)-μ-oxo bisporphyrins and diiron(IV)-μ-oxo biscorroles are efficient photo-catalysts for the oxidation of activated hydrocarbons using visible light and environmentally friendly atmospheric oxygen. The observed photocatalytic aerobic oxidation is ascribed to a photo-disproportionation pathway to afford a highly reactive metal(V)-oxo intermediate that can be directly observed and kinetically studied in real time. This work demonstrates that the use of molecular oxygen and sunlight in oxidation catalysis without the need for an external co-reductant is particularly relevant to realizing innovative and economically advantageous processes for conversion of hydrocarbons into oxygenates and, at the same time, to move toward a “sustainable chemistry” that has a minimal environmental impact.



Rui Zhang obtained his B.S. (1993) and M.Sc. (1996) in Organic Chemistry from Sichuan University, China and his Ph.D. (2001) from the University of Hong Kong under the direction of Prof. Chi-Ming Che. As an Alexander-von-Humboldt postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Zhang worked with Prof. Waldemar Adam at the University of Wuerzburg (Germany) from 2001 to 2002, and then moved to University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) as a Research Assistant Professor. In 2006, Dr. Zhang joined Western Kentucky University (WKU) as an Assistant Professor, where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012 and then to Full Professor in 2017. His research interests include mechanistic elucidation and development of catalytic systems, which mediate interesting and useful organic oxidation reactions.

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