MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Natural Sources of Chemicals and Materials


Ecotechnologies, third-level study programme


prof. dr. Jernej Iskra


The aim of this course is to acquaint students with real industrial problems and to give them tools, which will enable to understand how to use alternative (or renewable) sources of chemicals and to evaluate their usefulness and advantages.


This course is designed to inform students with important industrial chemicals and materials with emphasis on the study of their sources in the context of sustainable development and finding alternative solutions. The course content is:
- Natural resources and their use in industry.
- Comparison of classical resources of chemicals and materials with alternative ones.
- Chemical value of biomass; how to produce chemicals from biomass.
- Biorafinery: a source of energy, chemicals and materials from biomass. Plant as a factory.
- Platforms of chemicals as sources of industrial chemicals, fine and specialty chemicals, end products and bioactive compounds.
- Biopolymers and their use for biomaterials (wood, cellulose, chitin…) and biodegradable plastics from monomers obtained from natural sources.
- Green technologies.
- Examples in industry.

Course literature:

Selected chapters from the following books:
- The Biobased Economy, H. Langeveld, J. Sanders, M. Meeusen, Eds. Routledge, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-415-63132-7.
- Renewable raw materials, R. Ulber, D. Sell, T. Hirth, Eds. Wiley-VCH, 2011. ISBN: 978-3-527-32548-1.
- Introductions to Chemicals from Biomass, J. Clark, F. Deswarte, Eds., Wiley, 2008, ISBN: 978-0-470-05805-3.
- Sustainable Value Creation in the Fine and Specialty Chemicals Industry, R. Rajagopal, Wiley, 2014. ISBN: 9781118539675.

Significant publications and references:

• I. Milošev, B. Kapun, P. Rodič, J. Iskra. Hybrid sol-gel coating agents based on zirconium(IV) propoxide and epoxysilane. Journal of sol-gel science and technology, 2015, 74, 447-459.
• L. Bedrač, J. Iskra, Iodine(I) reagents in hydrochloric acid-catalyzed oxidative iodination of aromatic compounds by hydrogen peroxide and iodine, Adv. Synth. Catal., 2013, 355, 1243-1248.
• A. Podgoršek, M. Zupan, J. Iskra, Oxidative halogenation with " green" oxidants: oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 2009, 48, 45, 8424-8450.
• Podgorsek, M. Eissen, J. Fleckenstein, S. Stavber, M. Zupan, J. Iskra, Selective aerobic oxidative dibromination of alkenes with aqueous HBr and sodium nitrite as a catalyst. Green Chem., 2009, 11, 1, 120-126.
• G. Stavber, J. Iskra, M. Zupan, S. Stavber Aerobic oxidative iodination of ketones catalysed by sodium nitrite on water or in a micelle-based aqueous system. Green chem., 2009, 11, 1262-1267.
• A. Podgoršek, S. Stavber, M. Zupan, J. Iskra, Bromination of ketones with H2O2-HBr " on water" . Green Chem., 2007, 9, 11, 1212-1218.


Seminar work (50%)
Oral defense of seminar work (50%)

Students obligations:

Seminar work and oral defense of seminar work.