Prof. Arjan W. Kleij


Group Leader:

Arjan W. Kleij, ICREA Professor

Administrative Support:

Ingrid Mateu

Postdoctoral Researchers:

Bart Limburg / Francesco de la Monica

PhD Students:

Aleria Garcia / Jose Enrique Gómez (until September) / Jianing Xie / Aijie Cai (until September) / Alex Cristòfol / Nicola Zanda / Alba Villar / Xuetong Li / Jixiang Ni (since November) / Alba Villar

Visiting Students:

Alex Lücht (since October) / Vatharaporn Aonchad (Since October) / Josephine Sprachman (Apr. – Sep.)


The group of Prof. Kleij focuses on the conversion of small molecules, such as CO2, into heterocyclic compounds useful in the synthesis of fine chemical and pharmaceutical products. The carboxylative conversion of these heterocycles and related structures is used to discover new stereo and enantioselective transformations with the ultimate goal of synthesizing relevant and complex molecules. In addition, biomass compounds such as terpenes are used to design different types of polyesters and polycarbonates with new properties of potential interest for industry. In this sense, the group has developed a process to prepare thermally resistant poly-lemon carbonates, as a potential alternative to free polycarbonates of BPA.


‘Formal Synthesis of Indolizidine and Quinolizidine Alkaloids from Vinyl Cyclic Carbonates’
Cristofol, A.; Bohmer, C.; Kleij, A. W.
Chem.: Eur. J 2019, 25 (66), 15055-15058

‘Entropic Corrections for the Evaluation of the Catalytic Activity in the Al(III) Catalysed Formation of Cyclic Carbonates from CO2 and Epoxides’
González Fabra, J.; Castro-Gómez, F.; Sameera, W.M.C.; Nyman, G.; Willem Kleij, A.; Bo, C.
Catal. Sci. Technol. 2019, 9, 5433-5440

‘A Mechanistic Analysis of the Pd-Catalyzed Formation of Branched Allylic Amines reveals the Origin of the Regio- and Enantioselectivity through a Unique Inner-Sphere Pathway’
Hu, L.; Cai, A.; Wu, Z.; Kleij, A. W.; Huang, G.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58 (41), 14694-14702


‘Regio- and Enantioselective Preparation of Chiral Allylic Sulfones Featuring Elusive Quaternary Stereocenters’
Cai, A.; Kleij, A. W.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58 (42), 14944-14949

‘Advances in the use of CO2 as a renewable feedstock for the synthesis of polymers’
Grignard, B.; Gennen, S.; Jérôme, C.; Kleij, A. W.; Detrembleur, C.
Chem. Soc. Rev. 2019, 48, 4466-4514

‘Catalytic Nonreductive Valorization of Carbon Dioxide into Fine Chemicals’
Enrique Gómez, J.; Kleij, A. W.
Adv. Organometal. Chem. 2019, 71, 175-226

‘Pd‐Catalyzed Stereodivergent Allylic Amination of α‐Tertiary Allylic Alcohols towards α,β‐Unsaturated γ‑Amino Acids’
Xie, J.; Xiao, C.; Martínez Belmonte, M.; Escudero-Adán, E. C.; Willem Kleij, A.
ChemSusChem. 2019, 12, 3152-3158

‘Copper-Catalyzed Enantioselective Construction of Tertiary Propargylic Sulfones’
Gómez, J. E.; Cristofol, A.; Kleij, A. W.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58 (12), 3903-3907

‘CO2 Catalysis: Mature and Multifaceted’
Kleij, A.
Adv Synth Catal. 2019, 361, 221-222

‘Deciphering key intermediates in the transformation of carbon dioxide into heterocyclic products’
Huang, R.; Rintjema, J.; González-Fabra, J.; Martín, E.; Escudero-Adán, E. C.; Bo, C.; Urakawa, A.; Kleij, A. W.
Nat. Catal. 2019, 2, 62-70

‘Sustainable Feedstock for Conversion of CO2 to Cyclic and Polycarbonates’
Pizzolante, A.; Dechent, S.; Kleij, A. W.; Kozak, C. M.
«“Carbon Dioxide Utilization”, Eds. Michael North and Peter Styring», De Gruyter, 2019

‘Nonreductive Reactions of CO2 Mediated by Cobalt Catalysts: Cyclic and Polycarbonates’
Zevaco, T. A.; Kleij, A. W.
«»Non-Noble Metal Catalysis: Molecular Approaches and Reactions», Ed. Robert J. M. Klein Gebbink and Marc-Etienne Moret», Wiley-VCH, 2019, 529-548


Sintesis Estereo y Enantioselectiva para la Valorización de Heterociclos Funcionales
Ministerio | Ref: CTQ2017-88920-P

Valorització de Molècules Petites en Síntesis fina i Formació de Biopolímers
AGAUR | Ref: 2017 SGR 232


Theses Supervised

José Enrique Gómez
September 12th, 2019
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
‘Stereoselective Synthesis of Sulfones and Amino Acids from Functionalized Heterocycles’

Alije Cai
December 12th, 2019
Universitat Rovira i Virgili
‘Pd-catalyzed Allylic Substitution for the Construction of Quaternary Stereocenters’



Arjan Kleij joins the Editorial Board of ChemSus Chem