Educational Background:

• 2002-2005: Ph.D. Chemistry, Anna University, India.
• 2000-2002: M.Phil. Chemistry, VHNSN College, Madurai Kamaraj University, India.
• 1998-2000: M.Sc. Chemistry, VHNSN College, Madurai Kamaraj University, India.
• 1995-1998: B.Sc. Chemistry, VHNSN College, Madurai Kamaraj University, India

Professional Experiences: 16 years

• FROM JULY 2016: Scientist E, Center of Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing, Mohali, Punjab, INDIA 0
• JAN 2015 - JAN 2018: Visiting Professor, Guizhou University, RP CHINA0
• DEC 2013 - JUNE 2016: Senior Researcher, Centre for Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry (CSC), Technical University of Denmark, DENMARK.
• SEP 2013 - NOV 2013: Research Chemist, Haldor Topsøe, DENMARK .
• JAN 2010 - AUG 2013: Senior Researcher, CSC, Department of Chemistry, DTU, DENMARK.
• JAN 2009 - DEC 2009: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CSC, Department of Chemistry, DTU, DENMARK.
• JAN.2008 - DEC 2008: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainable and Green Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, DTU, DENMARK .
• SEP 2006 - OCT 2007: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nano Centre for Fine Chemicals Fusion Technology, Department of Chemistry, Inha University, SOUTH KOREA.
• JUNE 2005 - MAY 2006: Research Scientist, KAIST, Daejeon, SOUTH KOREA.
• OCT 2004 - DEC 2004: DST-DAAD Fellow, University of Kaiserslautern, GERMANY.
• MAY 2001-MAY 2004: Project Fellow, Anna University, Chennai, INDIA.

Major Research Accomplishment :

• Technology- related to methyl lactate production-transferred: 1
• Papers published in renowned scientific journals, such as Science and JACS.

Areas of Specialization :

• Valorisation of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Chemicals and Fuels, Synthesis and Functionalization of Porous Materials, Synthesis of nano-sized bimetallic catalysts, Functionalised Ionic Liquids for CO2 Capture, Functionalised Ionic liquids for Sugar Transformations.

Award/Recognition :

• DST-DAAD Fellow (2004)
• Early Career Research Award (2017)

Publications: 53; Citations: >2000; H-Index: 21; Patents (filed/granted): 8

Important Peer Reviewed Publications (Impact factor wise) :

1. M. S. Holm, S. Saravanamurugan, E. Taarning, ‘Conversion of sugars to lactic acid derivatives using heterogeneous zeotype catalysts,’ Science, 328 (2010) 602. (first and second authors equally contributed) (IF=34.66)
2. S. Saravanamurugan, M. Paniagua, J. Melero, A. Riisager, ‘Efficient isomerization of glucose to fructose over zeolites in consecutive reactions in alcohol and aqueous media,’ J. Am. Chem. Soc., 135 (2013) 5246. (IF = 13.86)
3. U. Mentzel, S. Saravanamurugan, S. Hruby, C.H. Christensen, M. S. Holm, ‘High yield of liquid range olefins obtained by converting i-propanol over zeolite ZSM-5,’ J. Am. Chem. Soc., 131 (2009) 17009. (IF=13.86)
4. H. Li, A. Riisager, S. Saravanamurugan,* A. Pandey, R. S. Sangwan, S. Yang and R. Luque ‘Carbon-increasing catalytic strategies for upgrading biomass into energy-intensive fuels and chemicals,’ ACS Catalysis, 8 (2018) 148. (IF = 10.61)
5. H. Li, S.Yang, S. Saravanamurugan,* and A. Riisager, ‘Glucose isomerization by enzymes and Chemo-catalysts: Status and current advances,’ ACS Catalysis, 7 (2017) 3010 (IF = 10.61)
6. H. Li, J. He, A. Riisager, S. Saravanamurugan,* B. Song and S.Yang, ‘Acid-base bifunctional N-alkylphosphate nanohybrid for efficient hydrogen transfer of biomass-derived carboxides,’ ACS Catalysis, 6 (2016) 7722-7727. (IF = 10.61)
7. H. Li, W. Zhao, A. Riisager, S. Saravanamurugan,* Z. Wang, Z. Fang,and S. Yang, ‘Direct Pd-based chemocatalytic production of biofuel 2,5-dimethylfuran from carbohydrates,’ Green Chem., 19 (2017) 2101 (IF = 9.13)
8. H. Li, S. Yang, A Riisager, A. Pandey, R.S. Sangwan, S. Saravanamurugan,* R. Luque, ‘Zeolite and zeotype-catalysed transformation of biofuranic compounds,’ Green Chem., 18 (2016) 5701. (IF = 9.13)
9. S. Tolborg, S. Meier, I. Sadaba, S. G. Elliot, S. K. Kristensen, S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager, P. Fristrup, T. Skrydstrup and E. Taarning, ‘Tin-containing silicates: Identification of a glycolytic pathway via 3-deoxyglucosone,’ Green Chem., 18 (2016) 3360. (IF = 9.13)
10. H. Li, S. Saravanamurugan, S.Yang, A. Riisager, ‘Direct transformation of carbohydrates to the biofuel 5-ethoxymethylfurfural by solid acid catalysts,’ Green Chem., 18 (2016) 726. (IF =9.13)
11. A. J. Kunov-Kruse, A. Riisager, S. Saravanamurugan, Rolf W. Berg, S. B. Kristensen, and R. Fehrmann, ‘Revisiting the Brønsted acid catalysed hydrolysis kinetics of polymeric carbohydrates in ionic liquids by in-situ ATR-FTIR spectroscopy,’ Green Chem., 15 (2013) 2843. (IF=9.13)
12. M.S. Holm, Y. Pagan, S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager, J.A. Dumesic and E. Taarning, ‘Sn-beta catalysed conversion of hemicellulosic sugars,’ Green Chem., 14 (2012) 702. (IF=9.13)
13. H. Li, X. Liu, T. Yang, W. Zhao, S. Saravanamurugan, and S.Yang, ‘Porous zirconiumfurandicarboxylate microspheres for efficient redox conversion of biofuranics,’ ChemSusChem, 8 (2017) 1761 (IF = 7.12)
14. S. Tolborg, S. Meier, S. Saravanamurugan, P. Fristrup, E. Taarning and I. Sadaba, ‘Shapeselective valorization of biomass-derived glycolaldehyde using tin-containing zeolites,’ ChemSusChem, 9 (2016), 3054. (IF = 7.12) (Chosen as Very Important Paper and Highlighted in Cover page)
15. M. Paniagua, S. Saravanamurugan, M. Melián-Rodríguez, J. Melero, A. Riisager, ‘Xylose isomerisation with zeolites in two-step alcohol-water process,’ChemSusChem, 8 (2015) 1088. (IF = 7.12)
16. S. Saravanamurugan, A.J. Kunov-kruse , R. Fehrmann and A. Riisager, ‘Amine functionalised amino acid ionic liquids as efficient and high-capacity absorbents for CO2,’ ChemSusChem, 7 (2014) 897. (IF = 7.12)
17. S. Saravanamurugan, O.N.V. Buu and A. Riisager, ‘Conversion of Mono- and Disaccharides to Ethyl Levulinate and Ethyl Pyranoside with Sulfonic Acid Functionalized Ionic Liquids,’ChemSusChem., 4 (2011) 723. (IF=7.12)
18. E. Taarning, S. Saravanamurugan, M. S. Holm, J. Xiong, R. M. West, C. H. Christensen, ‘Zeolite-catalysed isomerisation of triose sugars,’ ChemSusChem. 2 (2009) 625. (IF=7.12)
19. J-B. Koo, N. Jiang, S. Saravanamurugan, M. Bejblova, Z. Musilova, J. Cejka, S-E. Park, ‘Direct synthesis of carbon-templating mesoporous ZSM-5 using microwave heating,’ J. Catal., 276 (2010) 327. (One of the Top 25 Hottest articles in Journal of Catalysis, ScienceDirect, Oct. to Dec. 2010). (IF=6.84)
20. Ryan M West, M. S. Holm, S. Saravanamurugan, J. Xiong, Z. Beversdorf, E. Taarning, C.H. Christensen, ‘Zeolite H-USY for the production of lactic acid and methyl lactate from C3- sugars,’ J. Catal., 269 (2010) 122. (IF=6.84)
21. S. Saravanamurugan, S. Meier, E. Taarning and A. Riisager, ‘Mechanism and stereoselectivity of zeolite-catalysed sugar isomerisation in alcohols,’ ChemComm, 52 (2016) 12773. (IF = 6.32)
22. W. Zhao, T. Yang, H. Li, W. Wu, Z. Wang, C. Fang, S. Saravanamurugan, S. Yang ‘Highly recyclable fluoride for enhanced cascade hydrosilylation-cyclization of levulinates to γ- valerolactone at low temperatures,’ ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., Accepted (2017). (IF = 5.95)
23. H. Li, S. Saravanamurugan, S.Yang, A. Riisager, ‘Catalytic alkylation of 2-methylfuran with formalin over supported acidic ionic liquids,’ ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 3 (2015) 3274. (IF = 5.95)
24. S. Saravanamurugan, I. Tosi, K. H. Rassmussen, R. E. Jensen, E. Taarning, S. Meier and A. Riisager, ‘Facile and benign conversion of sucrose to fructose using zeolites with balanced Brønsted and Lewis Acidity,’ Catal. Sci. Technol., 7 (2017) 2782 (IF = 5.77)
25. S. Saravanamurugan and A. Riisager, ‘Zeolite-catalysed isomerisation of tetroses in aqueous medium,’ Catal. Sci. Technol., 4 (2014) 3186. (IF = 5.77)
26. H. Li, K. S. Govinda, R. Kotni, S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager, S.Yang, ‘Direct catalytic transformation of carbohydrates into 5-ethoxymethylfurfural with acid–base bifunctional hybrid nanospheres,’ Energy Convers. Manage., 88 (2014) 1245 (IF = 5.59)

Patents :

1. E. Taarning, S. Saravanamurugan, H. M. Spangsberg, (2009), ‘Zeolite catalysed preparation of - hydroxycarboxylic compounds and esters thereof,’ Patent granted. US2010012196, EP 2184270 B1, CN 200910253083.
2. S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager, (2012) ‘Conversion of carbohydrates to levulinic acid esters,’ Patent No. EP 2880009-A1; US 9290429 B2.
3. S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager, (2012), ‘Isomerisation C4-C6 aldoses with zeolites,’ Patent No. WO 2014033311-A1; EP2892907-B1; US 20150232498.
4. S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager, R. Fehrmann, (2014), ‘CO2 chemisorption by functionalised amino acid derivatives,’ Patent No. WO2015107060-A1.
5. H. Kolding, S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager, R. Fehrmann, (2012), ‘CO2 sorption by supported amino acid ionic liquids,’ Patent No. WO 2014009533-A1 (2014); CA 2878103- A1 (2014); US 20150196895 (2015); CN 104470633 A (2015).
6. S. Saravanamurugan, S. Z. Irantzu, E. Taarning, M. S. Holm, ‘Crystalline microporous material mediated conversion of C1- 3 to C4 oxygenate compounds,’ Application No.: WO 2015193461.
7. S. Saravanamurugan, K.G. Santosh, A. Riisager, ‘A process for hydrogynolysis of alphahydroxyesters or acids using a heterogeneous catalyst,’ EP patent filed (2015).
8. S.Saravanamurugan and A. Riisager, ‘Preparation of levulinic acid esters with zeolites from fructose,’ US patent filed.

Book Chapter Contributions:

• S. Saravanamurugan*, A. Pondey, R. S. Sangwan, ‘Biomass-derived HMF oxidation with various oxidants,’ Biofuels-Technology, Challenges and Prospects, published by springer, pages 51-67, Feb 2017.
• S. Saravanamurugan, A. Riisager, E. Taarning, ‘Transformation of sugars using nanoporous acidic catalysts’ Nanotechnology in catalysis: Applications in the chemical industry, energy development, and environment protection, published by Wiley-VCH, pages 601-626, June 2017.

Detailed Research Accomplishments:

Current Research Activities – Transformation of lignocellulosic biomass to chemicals and fuels:

1. Sugar Isomerisation and its direct conversion to biofuels:
Objectives: The goal of this project is to develop a non-enzymatic approach for the interconversion of glucose to fructose - as it has potential application in making High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)- and to produce biofuel such as ethyl levulinate and 5-ethoxmethylfurfural (EMF).

Major Achievements:
• Developed a new reaction protocol where fructose can be produced from glucose in high yield (>50 %) in one-pot two-step using zeolite as catalysts.
• Developed a reaction protocol to make ethyl levulinate (50%) directly from glucose and other carbohydrates using zeolites-containing Brønsted and Lewis acid sites.
• Developed a method to produce 50% and 70% EMF, biofuel, from glucose and fructose, respectively, employing nonporous zeolites as catalysts.
•Outcome results published in high impact journals such as JACS, Green Chemistry, ChemSusChem and 2 patents.

2. Hydrogenolysis of alpha-hydroxyester:
Objectives: The ambition of this project is to investigate mixed oxide catalysts for the selective hydrogenolysis of alpha-hydroxyesters to propionates.

Major Achievements:
• Developed nano-sized mixed metal oxide catalysts that can selectively convert lactates to propionates above 70%.
• This invention has been filed for a patent.

3. Sugars to lactic acid (Milk acid):
Objectives: The ambition of this project is to study and develop an alternative heterogeneous process to the biochemical process- fermentation of glucose to lactic acid- as lactic acid is one of the bio-platform chemicals and potential precursor for making bio-degradable plastics.

Major Achievements:
• Invented a process to make methyl lactate, precursor for bioplastics, from sugars in high yields ( 70%) using solid Lewis acid-containing zeolites.
• The accomplished results published in a reputed journal Science.
• This achievement has been highlighted in the following research newspapers: Chemical and Engineering News, Chemistry World,, and Ingenioren.
• Technology Transferred to Danish company Haldor Topsøe in 2008/2009.

4. Carbon Capture using ionic liquids:
Objectives: The aim of this project is to find out suitable functionalised ionic liquids as reversible absorbents with enhanced CO2 absorption capacity, as current flue gas cleaning technology suffers a lot with traditional aqueous solution of monoethanolamine (MEA).

Major Achievements:
• Achieved to synthesise amino acid functionalised ionic liquids which can uptake higher than two moles of CO2 per mole of ionic liquids. This is the highest CO2 absorption capacity that has been disclosed in the literature at that point.
• This invention led to two patents and the results published in a high impact journal ChemSusChem.

5. Microwave-assisted synthesis and catalytic application of micro- and mesoporous materials:
Objectives: :The major purpose of this project is to find out the influence of microwave compared to conventional method for the synthesis of microporous and mesoporous materials.

Major Achievements:
• Morphology of the functionalised SBA-15 materials can be controlled by microwave treatment.
• Narrow mesopore size distribution of H-ZSM-5 was achieved using microwave over conventional heating treatment.

Research Challenges and Future Direction:

• Lignin valorisation:
Aim: To develop facile and efficient methods for the isolation of lignin from woody biomass and to improve the yield of similar aromatic compounds from the isolated lignin, as the lignin is the one of major sources for aromatic compounds that can substitute fossil-based aromatic compounds

• Direct conversion of cellulose/hemicellulose to chemicals and fuels
One of the major challenges in woody biomass conversion is to directly transform cellulose to the targeted chemicals, for example, lactic acid, as cellulose has very limited solubility in aqueous and most organic solvents that hampers the upgrading of cellulose conversion.
Aim: To develop a chemo and integrated chemo-enzymatic process where cellulose can be hydrolysed to monomeric form of glucose at low temperature without significant amount of degradation, followed by chemo-catalytic, for example, nanoporous zeolites, conversion to the targeted products.

Outreach-in news & Miscellaneous:

1. ChemSusChem, 2009 article has been highlighted in Chemical and Engineering News in Science and Technology segment on 6th July, 2009.
2. Science, 2010 article has been highlighted in the following research newspapers.
• Chemical and Engineering News, ‘Methyl Lactate from Sugar, Catalytically’ on 3rd May, 88 (18) 2010. Link:
• Chemistry World, ‘Catalyst Challenges microbes’ supremacy’ on 29th April 2010. Link:
• Videnskab dk, ‘Danish researchers invent simple way for nature-friendly plastic’ on 29th April 2010. Link:
• Ingenioren, ‘Groundbreaking: Haldor Topsoe ready with an alternative to fermentation’ on 29th April 2010. Link:
3. Science article has been highlighted in article titled ‘Synthetic Glycolysis’, CHEMSUSCHEM, 3 (2010) 1237.
4. Science article has been highlighted in ‘Sugars-sweet to eat but sweeter to make chemicals’, Bulletin of the catalysis society of India –news brief, 2010.