Dr. Bart Limburg

Prof. Arjan Kleij

Increasing the scope of CO2 utilising photoreactions: asymmetric photosynthesis of amino acids

Bart holds a PhD degree from Leiden University, The Netherlands in 2015 under supervision of Dr. Sylvestre Bonnet and Prof. Elisabeth Bouwman. He researched photocatalytic redox reactions at the surface of liposomes, with a special focus on water oxidation. After a short postdoctoral period at the same university researching the biomass-based synthesis of nylon-6, he then joined the lab of Harry Anderson at the University of Oxford in 2016. There, he studied how electricity flows through single molecules, in particular through porphyrins anchored to graphene. Since January 2019, he has been a part of the Kleij group, researching photocatalytic transformations. Since June 2020, he is focusing on the synthesis of amino acids from CO2 and light as an MSCA-fellow. Outside the lab, Bart enjoys playing guitar, game-programming, and watching series and films.

From 01/06/2020 to



Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate due to the burning of fossil fuels. At the same
time, the production of bulk and fine chemistry mostly relies on the same crude oil as a carbon source. This situation is
unsustainable and therefore calls for the recycling of CO2 as a carbon source. State-of-the-art methods are not sufficient to
balance the carbon cycle and therefore it is important to increase the scope of available reactions using CO2. In this
proposal, we aim to develop a new methodology using CO2 as a C1-synthon to open up new synthetic pathways. We will
bind CO2 to a metal centre and use a radical-coupling pathway to form C-C bonds through an atom-efficient transformation.
In this way, we aim to synthesise both natural and unnatural chiral amino acids from amines using visible light and combined
photoredox- and CO2-catalysis. The project will contribute to uphold Europe as a world-leader in sustainability by developing
novel green methodologies, as well as maintain it as a respected destination for outstanding research by dissemination of
the results to both experts and a broader audience. Furthermore, the highly interdisciplinary project and extensive training
will prepare the researcher to pursue a successful career in sustainable chemistry.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement 889754