Research field covers sustainable chemistry with catalysis and ionic liquids as well as applied inorganic chemistry and materials science within three focus areas: 

Catalysis with renewables from biomass

New catalysts (e.g. zeolites, metal oxides) and catalytic systems (e.g. batch, two-phase liquid-liquid, continuous flow) for conversion of cellulosic sugars and lignin aromatics to value-added chemicals, e.g. plastic monomers, plasticisers, biofuels.


Catalysis and separation technology with ionic liquids

New reaction protocols with homogeneous transition metal complex catalysts, nanoparticle metal catalysts and enzymes in ionic liquid solvent system including continuous flow catalysis and selective gas separation from energy and chemicals production with supported ionic liquid phase (SILP) technology.


Environmental catalysis

New efficient heterogeneous catalyst technology for flue-gas cleaning of NOx in sustainable energy production using biomass firing and in the maritime sector.


Recent research highlights:

Hierarchically constructed NiO with improved performance for catalytic transfer hydrogenation of biomass-derived aldehydes. J. He, M.R. Nielsen, T.W. Hansen, S. Yang, A. Riisager*, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2019, 9, 1289-1300.

Homogeneously-catalysed hydrogen release/storage using the 2-methylindole/2-methylindoline LOHC system in liquid-liquid biphasic reaction mode. A. Søgaard, M. Scheuermeyer, A. Bösmann, P. Wasserscheid*, A. Riisager*, Chem. Commun., 2019, 55, 2046-2049.

Selective hydrodeoxygenation of alkyl lactates to alkyl propionates with Fe-based bimetallic supported catalysts. S.G. Khokarale, J. He, L. Schill, S. Yang, A. Riisager*, S. Saravanamurugan*, ChemSusChem, 2018, 11, 681-687.

Control of selectivity in hydrosilane-promoted heterogeneous palladium-catalysed reduction of furfural and aromatic carboxides. H. Li, W. Zhao, S. Saravanamurugan, W. Dai, J. He, S. Meier, S. Yang*, A. Riisager*, Commun. Chem., 2018, 1:32, 1-11.

Highly selective continuous gas-phase methoxycarbonylation of ethylene with supported ionic liquid phase (SILP) catalysis. S.G. Khokarale, E.J. Garcia-Suarez, R. Fehrmann, A. Riisager*, ChemCatChem, 2017, 9, 1824-1829.


Mechanism and stereoselectivity of zeolite-catalysed sugar isomerization in alcohols. S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager*, E. Taarning, S. Meier*, Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 12773-12776.