Laura Prati


Associate Professor di Inorganic Chemistry. Expertise: Inorganic chemistry, catalysis, nanoparticles

Laura Prati is presently an Associate Professor in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Milan,  Department of Chimica. She graduated in Chemistry (1983) at University of Milan, and received her specialization in “Tecniche Analitiche per la Chimica Organica Fine” from the Politecnico of Milano in 1985 and was awarded a PhD in Industrial Chemistry in 1988.

Since the beginning of her scientific formation she was involved in the field of the heterogeneous catalysis, being awarded by a MONTEDIPE S.r.l. fellowship, concerning with the project “Substitutive catalysts of noble metals”. In 1989 she became Researcher and in 1999 Associate Professor of General Chemistry at the University of Milan. Her solid basic formation in organic chemistry revealed very useful when was involved in the catalytic field, in particular heterogeneous catalysis.  She is applying from several years to low impact environmental catalytic methodologies as alternative processes of the stoichiometric ones based on organic synthesis.  She introduced the use of gold as active metal in the aerobic selective oxidation of organic compounds, contributing to the developing of the unusual gold catalytic properties, the main one being the resistance in the liquid phase to the poisoning due to the overoxidation. Her skills include the preparation method of high dispersed metallic catalysts on oxide materials and active carbons and their application in the selective oxidation of alcohols, polyols and aldehydes.

The scientific results are reported in more than 100 publications on qualified international journals, one patent and 50 communications at national and international Congresses.

She collaborates actively with industrial partners (Sud Chemie, Lepetit, Lonza, Electrolux), and several research groups, in Europe (University of Cardiff,  Prof. Hutchings; University of Valencia,  Prof. Corma; CNRS of Lion,  Dr. Besson) and in United States (Oak Ridge National Laboratory TN,  USA, Dr.Vieth).

From 2002 to 2006 she was the Referent of the research topic concerning with liquid phase gold catalyzed oxidations, inside the European project AURICAT (HPRNN-CT-2002-00174)


Selected publications

1.      Gold Colloids: From Quasi-Homogeneous to Heterogeneous Catalytic Systems; L. Prati and A. Villa, Acc Chem. Res. 47(2014) 855.

2.      Au on nanosized NiO: a cooperative effect between Au and nanoNiO in the base-free alcohol oxidation; A.Villa, C.E.Chan-Thaw, G.M.Veith, K.L.More, D.Ferri, L.Prati ChemCatChem 3(2011) 1612

3.      Selective oxidation of glycerol under acidic conditions using gold catalyst; A.Villa, G.M.Veith, L.Prati  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed, 49(2010)4499

4.      Au NPs on anionic-exchange resin as catalyst for polyols oxidation in batch and fixed bed reactor; A.Villa C. Chan-Thaw, , L.Prati,  Appl.Cat.B: Environmental 96(2010)541

5.      Triazine based polymers as nanostructured support for liquid phase oxidation of alcohols; C. Chan-Thaw, A.Villa, A.Thomas, L.Prati,  Chemistry A European Journal 17(2011) 1052.

6.      Au on MgAl2O4 spinels: The effect of support surface properties in glycerol oxidation; A.Villa, A.Gaiassi, I. Rossetti, C. L. Bianchi, K. van Benthem, G. M. Veith , L. Prati  J.Catal. 275(2010) 108

7.      Covalent triazine framework as support for liquid phase reaction; C. E. Chan-Thaw, A. Villa, P. Katekomol, D. Su, A. Thomas, L. Prati,  Nano Lett. 2010, 10, 537-541.

8.      Using supported Au nanoparticles as starting material for preparing uniform Au/Pd bimetallic catalysts, Alberto Villa, Di Wang, Dangsheng Su, Gabriel  M. Veith, and Laura Prati, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys, 2010, 12, 2183–2189

9.      Pd and Pt catalysts modified by alloying with Au in the selective oxidation of alcohols; N. Dimitratos, A. Villa, D. Wang, F. Porta, D. Su, L. Prati,  J. Catal. (2006), 244(1), 113-121.

10.   Bimetallic Gold/Palladium Catalysts: Correlation between Nanostructure and Synergistic Effects; D.Wang, A.Villa, F.Porta, L.Prati, D.Su J. Phys. Chem. C 2008, 112, 8617–8622