Bert F. Sels

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Catalytic processes on surfaces have long been studied by probing model reactions on single-crystal metal surfaces under high vacuum conditions. Yet the vast majority of industrial heterogeneous catalysis occurs at ambient or elevated pressures using complex materials with crystal faces, edges and defects differing in their catalytic activity. Clearly, if(More)
BACKGROUND Probiotic bacteria are increasingly used as immunomodulatory agents. Yet detailed molecular knowledge on the immunomodulatory molecules of these bacteria is lagging behind. Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is considered a major microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) of Gram-positive bacteria. However, many details and quantitative data on its immune(More)
An efficient catalytic process for converting methane into methanol could have far-reaching economic implications. Iron-containing zeolites (microporous aluminosilicate minerals) are noteworthy in this regard, having an outstanding ability to hydroxylate methane rapidly at room temperature to form methanol. Reactivity occurs at an extra-lattice active site(More)
Increasing demand for sustainable chemicals and fuels has pushed academia and industry to search for alternative feedstocks replacing crude oil in traditional refineries. As a result, an immense academic attention has focused on the valorisation of biomass (components) and derived intermediates to generate valuable platform chemicals and fuels. Zeolite(More)
Liquid reductive processing of birch wood in the presence of commercial Ru/C or Pd/C catalysts yields about 50% of a select set of phenolic monomers and a variety of phenolic di- and oligomers, next to a solid carbohydrate pulp. Changing the catalyst from Ru/C to Pd/C drastically increases the OH-content of the lignin-derived products, in particular for the(More)
Biodegradable and renewable polymers, such as polylactic acid, are benign alternatives for petrochemical-based plastics. Current production of polylactic acid via its key building block lactide, the cyclic dimer of lactic acid, is inefficient in terms of energy, time, and feedstock use. We present a direct zeolite-based catalytic process, which converts(More)
The thermal reaction of olefins with nitrous oxide was recently put forward as a promising synthetic ketone source. The 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of N(2)O to the C=C double bond, forming a 4,5-dihydro-[1,2,3]oxadiazole intermediate, was predicted to be the first elementary reaction step. This oxadiazole can subsequently decompose to the desired carbonyl(More)
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