Welcome to MonCat - Monash University homogeneous catalysis
Established in 2015 and directed by Professor Cameron Jones and A./Professor David W. Lupton MonCat is a Monash University School of Chemistry funded centre focused on fine chemical synthesis using elementally sustainable approaches to catalysis.
To this end studies are focused on non-platinum group metal, organo-, and enzyme mediated catalysis. The first two themes are lead from Monash University while the third exploits collaborations with the Australian National University. More details on the three themes are below.
Non-platinum group metal catalysis (led by Prof. Jones)
Many of the problems with non-PGM based catalysts are being overcome, and this area of chemistry is flourishing on the international stage. A variety of efficient, and exploitable, homogeneous catalytic processes will be developed using systems derived from the s- and p-block metals the early and first row d-block metals, and the f-block metals.
Organocatalysis (led by A/Prof. Lupton)
Probably the most rapidly emerging "new direction" in homogeneous catalysis is the use of organic molecules as catalysts, especially in enantioselective processes. The advantages of organocatalysts include low cost, high stability, very low toxicity, and ready incorporation of chirality. Research within the cluster will focus on the use of organocatalysts, to unlock none classical reactivity patterns.
Biocatalysis (led by A/Prof Jackson, Australian National University)
While the field is more than a century old, it has only been over the last 15 years that scientific and technological advances in DNA sequencing and protein engineering have allowed the ready development of biocatalysts (both metal containing and metal free) that perform well outside physiological conditions. The development and application of biocatalysis within the cluster will involve the discovery of new routes in protein engineering, the development of more active biocatalysts, gaining an understanding of how enzymes accelerate chemical reactions, and how they can be fully exploited in organic chemical synthesis.