1. Kinetics and Reaction Mechanisms of dinuclear hydroxo-bridged transition metal complexes with dissolved SO2 and some oxoanions.
2. Trinuclear transition metal complexes. (1) Kinetics and Reaction Mechanisms of the oxidation of biological reductants. (2) Electrochemical studies on mixed-valence and mixed-metal complexes in non aqueous solvents.
3. Synthesis and Characterization of Transfer Hydrogenation Catalysts, used in the hydrogenation of ketones and immines.
4. Synthesis of [2,2]Paracyclophane-type derivatives of N-Heterocyclic carbenes, their transition metal complexes, and studies on their catalytic activity.
5. Analysis and quantification of (i) acrylamide and (ii) furan, in foods; kinetics and mechanism of their formation and the interaction with body fluid constituents.
6. Analysis of MTBE, BTEX and other VOCs in Jamaican Water and soil. Hydrolysis and microbial degradation studies on MTBE.
7. Catalytic studies on the dechlorination of Polychlorobiphenyls.
8. Synthesis & characterization and studies on transition metal phosphine and amino-phosphine complexes in catalytic transformations.
Research in Dr. Paul Maragh's group involves a number of areas. The newest area is asymmetric catalysis which allows for the selective synthesis of desired isomers. The group makes transition metal complexes which have the potential to catalyse reactions that are useful for the perfume, food and pharmaceutical industries.
The group's specific focus area is making catalysts for various types of reactions which are screened for their usefulness and effectiveness. These studies aim to determine the exact mechanisms by which these catalysts function and to make compounds that are marketable. It is possible that these processes can be patented, and the ideas can be sold. The main target is to catalyse reactions which can produce high demand products such as drugs.
Research on asymmetric catalysis has been progressing in collaboration with a laboratory in Canada. A joint effort, the research is of benefit to both the Canadian company and The UWI.
Additionally, the group has been pursuing other research interests:
1) Reaction mechanisms – investigating how molecules react with each other. This has proved useful in the majority of their research projects. This can give specific information on the reaction process and can lead to modification and fine-tuning of catalyst systems.
2) The examination of the food toxin - acrylamide - in Jamaican and Caribbean foods. This compound has been known to cause cancer in rats and is a major suspect in breast cancer. Acrylamide is produced during the browning process of many foods (cooking at high temperatures - frying, roasting, baking). It is found in higher concentration in the brown, outside section of many food types, such as fried foods, roast breadfruit, the skin of bread, fried dumplings, festival, any fried batter, as well as fried vegetable material which contain certain simple sugars and amino acids. The group has also examined how acrylamide interacts with Vitamin C, some amino acids and a hypertensive drug.
3) Environmental chemistry – involving determination of the levels of the pollutant MTBE (a gasoline additive) in surface- and ground-water and soil in the Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine areas of Jamaica.
4) An analysis of furan – a small, toxic molecule found in many heat-processed foods. The levels are higher in foods that are high in Vitamin C and vegetables. A major concern is its presence in some baby foods. Currently, the group is engaged in studies on catalysis, furan and MTBE, employing a mix of exploratory and investigative research techniques. Primary research tools include NMR, elemental analysis, infrared spectroscopy, gas chromatography, and the use of a glove-box. Dr. Maragh has published 27 journal articles on his research.
Currently, the group is engaged in studies on catalysis, furan and MTBE, employing a mix of
exploratory and investigative research techniques. Primary research tools include NMR, elemental analysis, infrared spectroscopy, gas chromatography, and the use of a glove-box.
Dr. Maragh has published 27 journal articles on his research