Green Chemistry @ MUN

Fall Semester 2020 – Welcome
September 25, 2020, 6:50 pm
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Welcome to our Honours (490A/B) Research Students, Olivia, Cassie and April! Also, our new MSc Students, Mikhailey and Cyler. Lots of new new green chemistry and catalytic reactions going on in our labs again. We look forward to more new graduate students arriving once Canadian borders are open again ๐Ÿ™‚

Virtual Group Meeting, September 2020 (Fatma Takfa missing from photo)

Congratulations Dakshita Jagota
May 28, 2020, 1:29 pm
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Today we are celebrating our wonderful graduates. Dakshita held MUCEP positions in the Kerton group working alongside Kori Andrea (Vanier Scholar and PhD candidate) on iron-catalyzed reactions of epoxides with carbon dioxide. She then did her honours research in the Kerton group working with Juliana Vidal (PhD candidate) on biodegradable polymers using some materials prepared by MSc graduate Courtney Laprise (now, MUN Education). This research has involved collaborating with the Sit group at St. Mary’s University. We are excited to cheer Dakshita across the virtual convocation/graduation stage as she receives her B.Sc.(Hons) Degree in Chemistry (Biological). Congratulations Dakshita! Please stay in touch when you begin your adventures at MUN’s Faculty of Medicine in the Fall when you begin your studies in medicine ๐Ÿ˜€

Dakshita Jagota, B.Sc.(Hons) 2020 Chemistry (Biological), Congratulations!

Congratulations Mikhailey Wheeler
May 28, 2020, 1:20 pm
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Today we are celebrating our wonderful graduates. Mikhailey held a MUCEP position in the Kozak group working alongside Keegan Start M.Sc. on iron-catalyzed coupling reactions. She then did her honours research in the Kerton group working with Juliana Vidal (PhD candidate) on biodegradable polymers, including a collaboration with the Sit group at St. Mary’s University. We are excited to cheer Mikhailey across the virtual convocation/graduation stage as she receives her B.Sc.(Hons) Degree in Chemistry. Congratulations Mikhailey! We are excited to have you stay in the MUN Green Chemistry and Catalysis Group for your M.Sc. studies beginning in September ๐Ÿ˜€

Mikhailey Wheeler, B.Sc.(Hons) 2020, Congratulations!

Juliana will attend inaugural Commonwealth Chemistry Congress
February 27, 2020, 6:47 pm
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Congrats to Ju (Kerton Group), who will be one of three early career chemists representing Canada in Trinidad and Tobago during May. More details are available in the ACCN magazine:

We wish all the Canadian representatives including Dr. Mona Nemer (the government of Canadaโ€™s Chief Science Advisor) and Dr. Steven Holdcroft (vice-president of the CSC) a wonderful congress! and a successful visit to the Caribbean.

**Postscript: March 6, 2020, the congress has been postponed due to concerns regarding travel and the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19)**

New group members
February 6, 2020, 8:02 pm
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Today was the first day in the lab for our new undergraduate research assistants April (Kozak group) and Olivia (Kerton group). We are so excited to have you join our team. We hope you enjoy your MUCEPs in our lab this semester.

New Year = New Committees
February 2, 2020, 9:46 pm
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Chris Kozak is a member of the NSERC Scholarships and Fellowships Selection Committee for Chemistry (Committee 179). He was also appointed to the editorial board of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences for the macromolecules section.

Fran Kerton is the Chair of the IUPAC ChemRAWN Committee. ChemRAWN is a standing committee for IUPAC, and aims to facilitate discussion on Chemical Research Applied to World Needs.

The Committee focuses on strategic activities in concert with the following six IUPAC goals:

  1. Address global issues
  2. Advance research through scientific discussion
  3. Assist industry towards sustainable development, wealth creation, and improvement of the quality of life
  4. Foster communication among chemists and organisations with special emphasis on needs in developing countries
  5. Enhance education and the application of chemistry globally
  6. Increase the diversity in IUPAC bodies

As part of her IUPAC work (Chair of Canadian National Committee for IUPAC), she has been involved with promoting the IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast. This will take place on February 12th around the world and coincides with the United Nations Day of Women and Girls in Science

Our event at Memorial University will take place from 9.00-11.00 am on February 12th in C4019. Special thanks to Juliana, Silvana and Stephanie for all their hard work in organizing this.

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Finally, Fran is excited to be a member of the general committee for the #RSCPoster 2020 twitter conference She is looking forward to interacting with scientists around the world and learning about their latest results on March 3, 2020. Don’t forget to register to submit your poster.


Behaviour of biochar under liquid phase exfoliation conditions in green solvents
January 13, 2020, 1:06 pm
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Our group’s first time using ChemRxiv to share a pre-print!

Well done to Ju on all her hard work to obtain these results, make correlations, the collaborations and writing ๐Ÿ™‚ womeninscience greenchemistry


Ju presenting some of this research at the ACS Green Chemistry & Sustainable Energy Summer School (2019)

In Summary: Hydrogen-bond accepting solvents can disperse (exfoliate) up to 75 wt% of oxidized biochar in 15 minutes. Due to lower functionality, lower levels of dispersion are achieved when LPE is performed on pristine biochar and the critical solvent parameter in this case is polarizability.


Image by 445693 from Pixabay

Happy New Year from St. John’s #NewYear2020
January 10, 2020, 5:24 pm
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It is hard to believe that we are already 10 days into the new decade. In St. John’s, we have already had several winter storms and so the cityscape and countryside are looking beautiful!

We welcome Fatma from Jordan as a PhD student in the Kozak group. She will be looking at catalytic formation of some ‘green’ polymers.

We say ‘welcome back’ to Kori Andrea, who has returned from her study/research term at the University of Oxford with Prof. Weller (now at University of York). She has already co-authored a really cool paper on cobalt catalysis, which has been published in one of the first issues of ChemComm this year:!divAbstract

Ju (Kerton group) has published an excellent review on the ACS Summer School on Green Chemistry and Sustainable Energy on the NESSE website. She definitely had a wonderful time in Colorado last year and does an excellent job on advising future applicants and attendees.

The Kozak group have just had a paper accepted by Dalton Transactions and it is available as an Accepted Manuscript on their website.


Happy Holidays from MUN Green Chemistry & Catalysis Group
December 2, 2019, 7:41 pm
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Wishing all our friends, collaborators,ย  and peers around the world the happiest of holidays. We have had a wonderful year and are looking forward to an amazing 2020 with more science, discoveries, adventures, and happiness. And of course, we are wishing for an uneventful move into the new Core Science Facility

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Group News – November
November 24, 2019, 6:29 pm
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Fran Kerton and Chris Kozak are visiting the University of the West Indies – St. Augustine (Trinidad and Tobago). Their host is Dr. Nigel Jalsa, Department of Chemistry. They have given departmental seminars and workshops on Green Chemistry, and working with students and faculty on future collaborations and proposals.


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