Professor, Université de Namur

Carmela Aprile Carmela Aprile obtained her Master in Chemistry in 2000 and her PhD in Chemistry (2004) at the Universita degli Studi di Parlermo (Italy). During her PhD she did two internships at the University of Cardiff (UK ) and the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain) respectively. She then moved at Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain) where she worked first as post-doc (2004-2005) and then as research assistant (2006-2009) before joining as Associated Academic Staff the Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis (COK) at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2009-2010) in Belgium. In October 2010, she moved at University of Namur (UNamur) as Assistant Professor and from 2014 as Associated Professor in Materials Chemistry. At the UNamur she is leading the group of Applied Materials Chemistry (CMA).
Her research area convers different fields including mesoporous materials, metal and metal oxides nanoparticles, organic-inorganic hybrid solids, characterization (in particular solid state nuclear magnetic resonance) and heterogeneous catalysis with a particular attention to sustainable chemistry.

Keynote : Silica-based nanostructured catalysts for the efficient valorization of biomass derivatives 

Catalysis is part of the 12 principles of green chemistry proposed by Anastas and Warner and it plays a major role in the development of sustainable reactions and processes.1-2 Heterogeneous catalysts present the advantage of easy recoverability from the reaction mixture and possible reusability in multiple cycles. Nowadays, 90% of the overall chemical processes are developed with the aid of a heterogeneous catalyst.3 To enhance the performances of a catalysts various features can be considered including the possible functionalization or the modification of some structural and textural parameters as specific surface area, porosity and morphology among others. Herein, different silica-based nanostructures in which selected metal cations were inserted in the SiO2 architecture via isomorphic substitution of silicon are presented. Hollow silica-based nanotubes and nanospheres together with porous particles are described with a special focus on the synthesis parameters as well as on the characterization.4-8 The catalytic activity of the different solids are tested and compared selecting the valorization of biomass derivatives (e.g. conversion of glycerol, dihydroxyacetone, ethyl levulinate) as target reactions. The catalytic performances are evaluated in terms of turnover number/turnover frequency and correlated with the physicochemical properties of the solids. Kinetic investigations as well as stability studies are discussed.4-8 One of the most important and largely employed sustainable metric (the E-factor) is discussed as well.

1. P. T. Anastas and J. C. Warner, 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. Press New York, 1998
2. R. A. Sheldon, I. Arends, U. Hanefeld. Green Chemistry and Catalysis. Wiley-VCH, 2007

3. M. Shamzhy, M. Opanasenko, P. Concepcion, A. Martınez. Chem. Soc. Rev., 2019, 48, 1095-1149
4. L. Soumoy, C. Celis, D. P. Debecker, M. Armandi, S. Fiorilli, C. Aprile. Journal of Catalysis, 2022, 411, 41-53.
5. A. Maertens, A. Vivian, L. Fusaro, A. Felten, P. Louette, M. Armandi, S. Fiorilli, C. Aprile. Sustainable Energy and Fuel, 2022, 16, 3818-3829.
6. A. Vivian, L. Soumoy, L. Fusaro, S. Fiorilli, D.P. Debecker, C. Aprile, Green Chemistry, 2021, 23, 354-366.
7. A. Vivian, L. Soumoy, L. Fusaro, P. Louette, A. Felten, S. Fiorilli, D. P. Debecker, C. Aprile. Journal of Catalysis, 2021, 400, 83-92.
8. L. Bivona, A. Vivian, L. Fusaro, S. Fiorilli, C. Aprile. Applied Catalysis B Environmental, 2019, 247, 182-190.


Updated on December 21, 2022