Project Overview

Mechanistic Studies of Ruthenium-Catalyzed Hydrogenation Reactions

Faculty Sponsor

Anthony Chianese (




Although the development of transition-metal catalysts for ester hydrogenation is reaching a stage of maturity, our mechanistic understanding of this transformation is still incomplete. The Chianese group is currently working to uncover this mechanism through a combination of experimental and computational studies. On the experimental side, we identify potential catalytic intermediates through spectroscopy, analyse the reaction kinetics, and trace the rearrangements of atoms using deuterium labeling. On the computational side, we collaborate with Professor Jason Keith to analyze the reaction mechanism using density functional theory.

Student Qualifications

Interested students should be taking Chemistry classes, and should intend to major in Chemistry or Biochemistry. Students are encouraged to join the group early in their Colgate career, to have the best chance of making a sustained contribution to the research.

Number of Student Researchers

Four total. Two funded by NSF and two by Colgate students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2020 and close on 03/11/2020

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (