Presentation of the REMOTEcat blog.

REMOTEcat is the acronym for the project entitled "Asymmetric organocatalysts for remote functionalization strategies" funded by the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the EU. Currently, I am carrying out this project at the Center for Catalysis (Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, Denmark) under the supervision of Prof. Karl Anker Jørgensen.

In line with EU research & innovation policy, REMOTEcat assumes that responsible research implies an effort to the scientific promotion of science encouraging public participation and understanding of science. The goal is to create awareness among the public about the research work performed in the Marie Curie Action and their implications in society.

About the project

REMOTEcat is a chemistry project. In particular, organic chemistry, and in more detail, asymmetric organocatalysis.
Many chemical processes would not occur (at least, not at a rate that has any practical application) without catalysts. Catalysts (i.e. a substance that modifies the rate of a chemical reaction) have thus become indispensable in a wide range of industrial reactions. But the study of these systems can offer much more: it can change our understanding of fundamental chemical concepts and challenge us to rethink the “rules” of the chemical world.
In general, enantioselective catalysis (usually known as asymmetric catalysis) mostly refers to the use of chiral metal catalysts. It is very commonly encountered, as it is effective for a broader range of transformations than any other synthetic methods. Small organic molecules without metals can also exhibit catalytic properties, In the early 2000s, these organocatalysts were considered "new generation" and are competitive to traditional metal-containing catalysts.
Research in the area of organocatalysis moves at breathtaking speed: many catalytic reactions now considered to be “standard issue” by organic chemists were almost unthinkable just 10 years ago. The ability to synthesize and selectively modify small organic molecules is crucial for many applications, including drug discovery and the search for new materials. The development of new organocatalysts often makes it possible to generate previously unattainable compounds, which could have unique physical, chemical or biological properties.

Why am I launching this blog?

Probably, there are too many weird words in just only a few lines above. However, do not be concerned about this. The idea of launching this blog is to build bridges between the research I am doing and non-specialists. It is science for non-scientists.
What I would like to do is to introduce the basic concepts of organic chemistry involved in the project through case examples and situations of our daily lives. Gradually, and later on, going into more details about the research carried out in the project in the most entertaining manner possible and understandable to everyone.
Hope you find interesting and understandable the contents of the blog. Any comments or suggestions for their improvement are welcome.

About me

Twitter: @fernando_tur