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Our project selected for a funding by ANR!

Our SonoPhotoChem project will be finally funded by ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche/French National Agency) for 2018-2020. This project proposed in the category « Young Researchers » is entitled « How to control the selective oxidation under sono/photochemical activation and develop the scale-up of the reaction? » The coordinator of the project is Dr. Gregory Chatel and the funded Institution in the Université Savoie Mont Blanc. The SonoPhotoChem team is also composed of Dr. Bernard David (LCME) and Philippe Fanget (LCME). Other members will be recruited during the project.

Laureate of the OutofLabs Challenge 2017

We presented on November, the RENOUER project in front of the jury of the SATT Linksium (OutOfLabs Challenge). The project has been designed laureate of the Challenge and the team will be access:  1) the hsupport of Linksium to work on the project on different aspects (technology, intellectual property, market, valorization strategy) ; 2) the possibility to fund a flash study on the locks identified by the jury ; 3) access to Linksium’s training and ecosystem ; 4) training on the presentation of the project for a next Investment Committee in 2018.

Thank you to the RENOUER team  for this success:  Micheline DRAYE, Christine PIOT and Luc JAGER!

More details on OutOfLabs Challenge here.

Our new article in J. Hazard. Mater.

Avoid the PCB mistakes: A more sustainable future for ionic liquids

Gregory Chatel, Emmanuel Naffrechoux, Micheline Draye


Based on our original knowledge and experience on both polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) identification in aquatic ecosystems, and use of ionic liquids (ILs) as solvents and/or co-catalysts in green chemistry, we drawn a dared comparison between these two families. Indeed, PCBs has been used during several decades for their new properties, but are now considered as prevalent and persistent pollutants; some toxic effects on environment or human are still revealed. ILs, often designated as “green solvents” are increasingly used in numerous applications, but few studies reported about their environmental impact are still controversial. Through a parallel between properties and applications of PCBs and ILs, we wondered if history could not repeat itself, and how to provide a better future for ILs. Here, we provide some interesting comparisons and we discuss which tracks it could be important to follow for ILs applications in order to avoid the errors done with PCBs.

 Available on the website of Journal of Hazardous Materials


Our new article in Ultrasonics Sonochemistry!

Sonochemical oxidation of vanillyl alcohol to vanillin in the presence of a cobalt oxide catalyst under mild conditions

Ronan Behling, Gregory Chatel,* and Sabine Valange*


The heterogeneous selective oxidation of vanillyl alcohol into vanillin was investigated on new grounds under eco-friendly conditions in the presence of hydrogen peroxide as an oxidant and water as solvent, coupled with low frequency ultrasonic irradiation. The sono-Fenton-like-assisted vanillyl alcohol oxidation was performed with a high-surface area nanostructured spinel cobalt oxide catalyst exhibiting small crystallites size. The catalytic reaction was also carried out under conventional heating conditions for comparison purposes. The influence of the reaction parameters, namely catalyst loading and hydrogen peroxide concentration was studied with the aim of determining the optimum yield and selectivity to the desired vanillin product. The chemical effects of ultrasound (ability to generate hydroxyl radicals) along with increased mass transfer appeared to be key prerequisites for enhancing the efficiency of the process, while decreasing the overall energy consumption.

 Available on the website of Ultrasonics Sonochemistry

Congrats to Ronan for his work (Brazil CAPES funding).


Our new article in Green Chemistry!

Synthesis of maleic and fumaric acids from furfural in the presence of betaine hydrochloride and hydrogen peroxide

Nahla Araji, Desix Madjinza, Gregory Chatel,* Audrey H. Moores, Francois Jerome and Karine De Oliveira Vigier*


Here we report the successfully valorization of furfural into maleic acid (MA) and fumaric acid (FA) with a total yield above 90% using an aqueous solution of betaine hydrochloride (BHC) in the presence of hydrogen peroxyde. BHC can be recyclable at least 4 cycles and it can be used to directly convert xylose to MA and FA. 


Available on the website of Green Chemistry

Congrats to Nahla for her work, in the framework of our collaboration with Moores’group at McGill University, Canada.


Special Issue in L’Actualité Chimique

It was a pleasure to coordinate the September Issue of L’Actualité Chimique (journal of the French Chemical Society, in French) dedicated to sonochemistry and its applications.

Read my foreword: « Sonochemistry, or how ultrasound make vibrate chemistry! »

Read the other articles online:
– What is sonochemistry?
– Jean-Louis Luche, pioneer of sonochemistry
– Activation of molecules, particles and surfaces by acoustic cavitation
– Organic sonochemistry: in green chemistry, it sparkles!
– Green sono extraction of natural products
– Sonoelectrochemistry: a both investigative and acceleration process tool
– Parametric study for the design of ultrasonic processes: application to sludge pretreatment
– How to use ultrasound in the laboratory? Examples and handling
– Interview of Pascal Pierce, the President of SinapTec


Thank you to all the authors that accepted to write an article in French, in this Special Issue. A special thank you for Prof. Cravotto, for his contribution as President of the European Society of Sonochemistry (ESS).


New position at the Université Savoie Mont Blanc

With my experiences as postdoc in USA and as Assistant Professor at the Université de Poitiers, I have joined, this September, the Université Savoie Mont Blanc (USMB) and the Laboratoire de Chimie Moléculaire et Environnement (LCME) after a mutation for family reasons.


Université Savoie Mont Blanc (USMB) :


With 14 000 students and 19 research laboratories, the Université Savoie Mont Blanc is an establishment on a human scale distributed on three university campus sites at Annecy-le-Vieux, Le Bourget-du-Lac and Jacob-Bellecombette, and offering attractive living and studying conditions, at the heart of an exceptional environment, between lakes and mountains.


 Laboratoire de Chimie Moléculaire et Environnement (LCME) :


Among the Sciences and Montain Faculty, the LCME is organized around 14 researchers and professors, 5 administrative and technical staff and about 10 PhD students. The LCME was created in 1984. After 1995, it progressed rapidly in the field of sonochemistry applications. Over the 15 past years, the laboratory’s activity has broadened to include environmental chemistry for studying sources and dynamics of organic pollutants in mountain environments. The LCME’s research work is focused on 2 research teams:

–  GREEN CHEMISTRY (that I joined)



Special Issue « Sonochemistry and Green Chemistry Applications »

As Guest Editor, I am proud  to invite you to contribute to a Special Issue entitled « Sonochemistry and Green Chemistry Applications » in the open access journal Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049, IF = 2.416 in 2014).


This Special Issue welcomes the submission of papers based on original researches that describe sonochemical applications with a green chemistry approach. A particular attention to demonstrate this aspect in the submitted manuscript will be asked, related to specific points or to the overall process. The submission taking account the 12 principles of green engineering, with notion of scale-up, energy consumption and design of equipment will also be appreciated. New combinations of power ultrasound with ionic liquids, microwave irradiation, enzyme, electrochemistry, or other technologies will be also considered.

This Special Issue aims at showing that ultrasound is not just a simple mixing tool, but has a real role to play in the development of sustainable, green, and eco-efficient processes, to go ahead in innovations and the wildest results.

Keywords: sonochemistry; power ultrasound; ultrasonic application; green chemistry; eco-efficiency; clean processes; synthesis; catalysis; material preparation; polymers; biomass conversion; extraction; mechanisms.

Please, submit your innovative research in the area in our Special Issue before November 15th, 2016.

More information on this Special Issue here.

Cover page of Green Chemistry

Our critical review has been selected for the outside cover page of the journal Green Chemistry for this issue of April. Our article on heterogeneous catalytic oxidation for lignin valorization into valuable chemicals is available here.

Cover page

We would like to thank Sabine Riffaut from iPHEP lab (University of Poitiers) for her support in designing the front cover for this article.

More details on the website of IC2MP here.

Short Term Scientific Mission of Ewelina Kuna in our lab

Ewelina Kuna, from the team « Catalysis for sustainable energy production and environmental protection » at the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, worked in our research group during 9 weeks through the STSM of COST Action (FP1306) and an Erasmus E+ program.


Ewelina worked from February 1st to April 1st, 2016 in our group of the IC2MP Institute on heterogeneous sonocatalysis for selective oxidation of lignocellulose-based model compounds. The obtained results  allow us to continue and strengthen our collaboration with her research group and his supervisor, Prof. Juan Carlos Colmenares.