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Bond activation and catalysis with low-valent aluminium

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "AlCat" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: EH8 9YL

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙493˙679 €
 EC max contribution 1˙493˙679 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-03-01   to  2022-02-28


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH UK (EDINBURGH) coordinator 1˙493˙679.00


 Project objective

This project will develop the principles required to enable bond-modifying redox catalysis based on aluminium by preparing and studying new Al(I) compounds capable of reversible oxidative addition.

Catalytic processes are involved in the synthesis of 75 % of all industrially produced chemicals, but most catalysts involved are based on precious metals such as rhodium, palladium or platinum. These metals are expensive and their supply limited and unstable; there is a significant need to develop the chemistry of non-precious metals as alternatives. On toxicity and abundance alone, aluminium is an attractive candidate. Furthermore, recent work, including in our group, has demonstrated that Al(I) compounds can perform a key step in catalytic cycles - the oxidative addition of E-H bonds.

In order to realise the significant potential of Al(I) for transition-metal style catalysis we urgently need to: - establish the principles governing oxidative addition and reductive elimination reactivity in aluminium systems. - know how the reactivity of Al(I) compounds can be controlled by varying properties of ligand frameworks. - understand the onward reactivity of oxidative addition products of Al(I) to enable applications in catalysis. In this project we will:

- Study mechanisms of oxidative addition and reductive elimination of a range of synthetically relevant bonds at Al(I) centres, establishing the principles governing this fundamental reactivity. - Develop new ligand frameworks to support of Al(I) centres and evaluate the effect of the ligand on oxidative addition/reductive elimination at Al centres. - Investigate methods for Al-mediated functionalisation of organic compounds by exploring the reactivity of E-H oxidative addition products with unsaturated organic compounds.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Stephanie J. Urwin, Gary S. Nichol, Michael J. Cowley
Aluminium-mediated carbon–carbon coupling of an isonitrile
published pages: 378-380, ISSN: 1359-7345, DOI: 10.1039/c7cc08415c
Chemical Communications 54/4 2020-01-24
2018 Alessandro Bismuto, Michael J. Cowley, Stephen P. Thomas
Aluminum-Catalyzed Hydroboration of Alkenes
published pages: 2001-2005, ISSN: 2155-5435, DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.7b04279
ACS Catalysis 8/3 2020-01-24
2019 Rosalyn L. Falconer, Gary S. Nichol, Michael J. Cowley
Flexible Coordination of N,P-Donor Ligands in Aluminum Dimethyl and Dihydride Complexes
published pages: , ISSN: 0020-1669, DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b01061
Inorganic Chemistry 2020-01-24

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