Associate Professor Stephan, JAENICKE

B.Sc. (Vordiplom), 1973, University of Cologne; Dr rer. nat., 1981, University of Karlsruhe

Contact Information
Department of Chemistry, NUS 
3 Science Drive 3 
Singapore 117543 
Office: S5-04-08
Tel: (65)-6516-2918
Fax: (65)-6779-1691


Research Interests

Surface Chemistry and Catalysis

In the Surface Chemistry and Catalysis group, we address problems related to catalytic technologies and catalyst engineering. On a commercial scale, reactions are best conducted with heterogeneous catalyst systems because these offer advantages in catalyst-product separation after reaction. We explore novel methods to heterogenize catalysts, for example by dissolving the catalytically active species in an ionic liquid, which is itself immobilized as a thin film on a solid catalyst carrier.


Chiral Catalysis

Chiral compounds are at the center of the interest in the design of pharmacologically active molecules. We are evaluating several approaches to induce chirality:

  • Homogeneous catalysts based on ligand-modified noble metals.
  • Heterogenized systems, using chiral modifiers with a solid catalyst, or based on the principle of immobilizing or entrapping intrinsically homogeneous catalysts in a heterogeneous system.
  • Enzymatic catalysis and whole cell fermentation. Enzymes are bio-catalysts which have evolved over millions of years to reach unrivalled selectivity and efficiency for chemical transformations. They are able to operate in aqueous systems. By harnessing the benefits of enzymes, it is frequently possible to save many steps spent on protecting and unprotecting functional sites in a conventional chemical synthesis. Enzymes usually act in concert with other enzymes in multi-step reactions. All these enzymes are produced on demand inside a viable cell. Use of whole cells as miniature bioreactors has therefore big advantages, and is frequently cost-effective compared with the use of isolated enzymes or chemical catalysts. However, the required fermentation technique poses its own challenges, which we address and overcome in our work.

Process Intensification

In another project, we study the improved mass transfer in gas-liquid-solid systems under Taylor flow conditions in micro-reactors or monolith reactors. In Taylor flow, the mass transfer coefficient can be increased by a factor 5 over that possible with conventional stirring, showing a big potential for process intensification. Another approach to process intensification is the use of phase transfer catalysts which accelerate reactions in biphasic systems, typically in two phase liquid-liquid systems.

Our group collaborates in these projects with Dr Th. Muller, TU Munich and Prof. Y. Sasson, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Representative Publications

  • Xiu Yi Toy,Irwan Iskandar Bin Roslan,Gaik Khuan Chuahand Stephan Jaenicke*, Protodecarboxylation of carboxylic acids over heterogeneous silver catalysts, Catal. Sci. Technol. 2014,  4, 516-523.
  • Jie Wang, Dong-Minh Do, Gaik-Khuan Chuah, Stephan Jaenicke*, Core–Shell Composite as the Racemization Catalyst in the Dynamic Kinetic Resolution of Secondary Alcohols, ChemCatChem, 2013, 5(1), 247-254.
  • Huihui Liu, Gaik-Khuan Chuah, Stephan Jaenicke* N-alkylation of amines with alcohols over alumina-entrapped Ag catalysts using the “borrowing hydrogen” methodology, J. Catal. 2012, 292, 130 -137.
  • Ao Fan, Stephan Jaenicke* and Gaik-Khuan Chuah, A Heterogeneous Pd-Bi/C Catalyst in the Synthesis of L-Lyxose and L‑Ribose from Naturally Occurring D-Sugars, Org. Biomol.Chem.  2011, 9(22), 7720 – 7726.  
  • Kam Loon Fow, Yongzhong Zhu†, Gaik Khuan Chuah, Stephan Jaenicke*, Kinetic Resolution of 1-Phenylethanol by Immobilized Lipase Coupled with in-situ Raecemization over Zeolite Beta In: Practical Methods in Biocatalysis and Biotransformations, Roberts, S.M., Whittall, J. (Eds.), Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2010,  p 133 – 136.
  • Jeck Fei Ng, Yuntong Nie, Gaik Khuan Chuah, Stephan Jaenicke, A wall-coated catalytic capillary microreactor for the direct formation of hydrogen peroxide, J. Catal. 2010, 269, 302-308.
  • S. Jaenicke*, G. K. Chuah*, V. Raju, Y. T. Nie, Structural and Morphological Control in the Preparation of High Surface Area Zirconia, Catal. Surv.Asia, 2008, 12(3), 153 – 169.
  • K.-L. Fow, L. C. H. Poon, S. T. Sim, G. K. Chuah, S. Jaenicke*, Enhanced Asymmetric Reduction of Ethyl 3-Oxobutyrate by Baker’s Yeast via Substrate Feeding and Enzyme Inhibition, Eng. Life Sci. 2008, 8(4), 1–10.
  • Yongzhong Zhu, Gaik-Khuan Chuah and Stephan Jaenicke*, Selective Meerwein-Ponndorf-Verley Reduction of α,β-Unsaturated Aldehydes over Zr-Zeolite Beta, J. Catal. 2006, 241, 25-33.
  • X. Wang, J.L.C. Lee, Y. Nie, S. Jaenicke. Evaluation of Multiphase Microreactors for the Direct Formation of Hydrogen Peroxide. Applied Catalysis A: General, (2007) in print.
  • Y.Z. Zhu, K.L. Fow, G.K. Chuah, S. Jaenicke. Dynamic Resolution of Secondary Alcohols Combining Enzyme-catalyzed Transesterification and Zeolite-catalyzed Racemization, Chem. Eur. J. 13 541-547 (2007). 
  • N. Qafisheh, S. Mukhopahdyay. A.V. Joshi, Y. Sasson, G.K. Chuah, S. Jaenicke. Potassium Phosphate as a High Performance Solid Base in Phase Transfer Catalyzed Alkylation Reactions. Ind. Eng. Chem Res. (2007) in press.
  • K.L. Fow, S. Jaenicke, T.E. Muller and C. Sievers. Enhanced Enantioselectivity of Chiral Hydrogenation Catalysts after Immobilisation in Thin Films of Ionic Liquid. Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical, In Press, Available online 3 December 2006.
  • Y. Zhu, G.K. Chuah, S. Jaenicke. Selective Meerwein-Ponndorf-Verley reduction of a,b-unsaturated aldehydes over Zr-zeolite beta. J. Catalysis 241 25-33 (2006).
  • S. Jaenicke. Characterization of Heterogeneous Catalysts by Use of Model Reactions. Catalysis Surveys fromAsia 9 173-185 (2005).