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Reshma Babu

Academic background

        A chemist with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from St. Dominic’s College, Kottayam (Kerala) and Master of Science in 2018 from School of Chemical Sciences, M G University (Kerala). As part of my MSc program, I have completed my thesis project at CSIR-NCL Pune, under the guidance of Dr. E. Balaraman. The research was focused on the Nickel-catalyzed dehydrogenative coupling of alcohols. I have started my doctoral degree at IISER-Tirupati in august 2019. My research work is mainly based on the design and development of new catalytic systems and their applications in hydrogen generation and sustainable chemical synthesis.

Research Interest

My current research work is mainly focused on the novel homogeneous catalytic design and development for acceptorless (de)hydrogenation reactions and valuable sustainable chemical synthesis. Rapid depletion of fossil fuels and growing environmental concerns directed chemists and chemical industries to identify alternative renewable energy resources. It has been widely accepted that hydrogen as a fuel can be effective to curtail this energy crisis. In this context, acceptorless dehydrogenation reactions in which H2 is liberated from abundant, renewable feedstocks and new bonds generated by further reactions of the dehydrogenated product are emerging as a powerful approach. Acceptorless alcohol dehydrogenation by homogeneous transition-metal catalysis represents a powerful and sustainable route for synthetic purposes as well as for energy production. In this regard, the design and development of new catalytic systems for fundamentally important synthetic transformations and energy storage applications is an intellectually stimulating challenge. Hence, my research works are mainly focusing on this area.

Advisor information

Dr. Ekambaram Balaraman, a chemist studying transition-metal catalysis as well as an enthusiastic chemistry teacher has received a Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Hyderabad and Postdoctoral research from Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. He has worked as a senior scientist (July 2013-Dec 2018) at CSIR-NCL, Pune. He has received numerous awards and honours including SwarnaJayanti Fellowship (2020), Bronze Medal from the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) – 2020, Thieme Journal Award (2020), The Asian and Oceanian Photochemistry Association (APA) for Young Scientist (2019), AV Rama Rao (AVRA) Young Scientist Award (2018). He is an elected member of The National Academy of Sciences, India (2020), Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), Affiliate Member of International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), Member of the Indian Nation Young Academy of Science (INYAS), INSA (2018-2022), Life member of Catalysis Society of India, Member of American Chemical Society (2010), Member of Israel Chemical Society.

Dr. E. Balaraman’s research has mainly focused on catalyst (Homogeneous & Heterogeneous) development for dehydrogenation reactions, hydrogen auto-transfer reactions, C1-chemistry (CO2 to value-added chemicals), green chemistry by heterogeneous catalysis, and Ziegler-Natta catalysis. A highlight of his research involves the use of pincer ligands, particularly those with substituents that absorb or release molecular hydrogen. Also, he examined the activation of C-C, C-H, N-H and O-H bonds. His main research involves the design and development of new catalytic systems for energy and environmental applications. Dr. E. Balaraman had significantly contributed to catalyst design for various important reactions for both fundamental research and industrial application. He has also contributed to heterogeneous acceptorless dehydrogenation and related reactions based on developed nanocatalysts. for CO2 utilization and its direct application as a renewable raw material for polymer synthesis.