IMPACTIVE connecting mechanochemists in IUPAC 2023

Last week, chemists from around the world gathered at the IUPAC Conference in The Hague, Netherlands. IMPACTIVE researchers had a strong presence throughout the conference, with a dedicated focus session on mechanochemistry, as well as oral and poster presentations highlighting the first results of the project.


Last week, the International Union of Pure and Applied Conference (IUPAC) celebrated its 49th World Chemistry Congress in The Hague, Netherlands. It was a great occasion to present the first results of our project IMPACTIVE, which investigates innovative mechanochemical solutions towards greener pharmaceuticals. The project presented in several sessions during the IUPAC Conference, including a focus session co-organised by project coordinator Evelina Colacino, from the University of Montpellier, France.

The focus session, framed within the parallel programme on “molecular frontiers” looked into the applications of mechanochemistry for sustainable synthesis, and was co-organised by IMPACTIVE coordinator Evelina Colacino, from the University of Montpellier, France, as well as industrial chemist Wilfried Braje, from AbbVie Germany – a pharmaceutical company within the top ten manufacturers of the world. Among the key take-home messages, speakers highlighted that, despite the drive to research mechanochemical reactions, the technique is still needs retooling and retrofitting to achieve industrial scale up. However, the international network created in coordinated consortia constitutes a unique breeding ground towards industrialisation. And it’s an attractive technique too – as pointed out by focus session speaker Radovan Sebesta, from Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia, in many mechanochemical methods, mass intensity is ten times better than solution-based processes – a paradigm shift towards true green chemistry.

“Many of the results presented in IUPAC sparked during our collaborative COST project ‘Mechanochemistry for Sustainable Industry,’ which catalysed the creation of a network of academics, industries, companies, and policymakers towards strategic advances in the field across 38 countries in the EU and overseas, including  Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and US),” says Evelina Colacino. “Additionally, this COST project planted the seed for our current project IMPACTIVE, funded by the Horizon Europe programme. IMPACTIVE proudly presented some very exciting results during the IUPAC Conference in The Hague, including both a poster and an oral presentation,” she adds.

Several IMPACTIVE partners attended the conference, including representatives from the University of Montpellier, Radboud University, the Max Planck Institute für Kohlenforschung, and Agata Communications. Besides the focus session, which was extremely well attended, IMPACTIVE results were presented in a poster within the ‘Sustainability’ track and a parallel session on mechanochemistry chaired by IMPACTIVE researcher Michael Felderhoff. The latter included presentations on the synthesis of green pharmaceuticals using techniques such as ball milling and resonant acoustic mixing, as well as innovative mechanochemical methods towards MOF-like gels, which could find applications in drug delivery, and fluorescent motifs, with great potential in applications like medical imaging. 

“The IUPAC Congress was also a great opportunity to network and connect with chemists across countries, a unique gathering of international researchers with extremely diverse backgrounds and skillsets,” adds Colacino. “We strengthened our existing collaborations with the European Chemical Society (EuChemS) and propelled new potential partnerships with the Royal Society of Chemistry, in the UK, and the American Chemical Society, in the US. As the leading mechanochemistry project in Europe, we look forward to further reinforce our cooperation abroad, and attending the IUPAC Conference in The Hague created a unique ecosystem for cooperation.”

Note: COST Action CA18112 ‘Mechanochemistry for Sustainable Industry’ (MechSustInd) is supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).