Dr. Saravanakumar Elangovan

Assistant Professor
Department/School/Unit Name
Department of Chemistry IIT(BHU)
Phone No(s): -
Email: saravana.chy@iitbhu.ac.in
Area of Interest: Organometallic Chemistry, Homogeneous Catalysis, Biomass Conversions, Green Chemistry


                                                                  "Experience is the Best Teacher"

Professional Experience 

July 2022–Present               Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi.
Mar 2022–June 2022           Ramanujan Fellow, National Institute of Technology, Trichy.
Aug 2019–Feb 2022            Humboldt Post-Doctoral Fellow, Technical University of Berlin, Germany. Advisor: Prof. Dr. Martin Oestreich.
Feb 2017–July 2019            Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Advisor: Prof. Dr. Katalin Barta.                                             
Feb 2010–Aug 2012            Research Associate, Syngene International Ltd, Bangalore.
June 2009–Dec 2010          Chemist, Advinus Therapeutics Private Ltd, Bangalore, India.

Educational Background

2013–2017      Ph.D., Organometallics and Catalysis, Université de Rennes 1, Rennes, France, Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse e. V., Rostock, Germany.
                         Advisors: Prof. Christophe Darcel and Prof. Dr. Matthias Beller.
2012–2013      International Master Program in Molecular Catalysis and Green Chemistry, Université de Rennes1, France. 
2007–2009      Master of Science in Chemistry, St. Joseph’s College, Trichy, India.
2003–2006      Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, AVVM Sri Puspham College, Thanjavur, India.

                                                                                      "Best Award is Life, Be Thankful"

  • Ramanujan Fellowship (2021)
  • Alexander Von Humboldt Fellowship (Aug 2019-July 2021)
  • Selected to participate in the 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2020
  • Ph.D. Fellowship by Leibniz-Institut für Katalyse, Rostock, Germany (Feb 2015-July 2016)
  • Ph.D. Fellowship (ARED) by Conseil Régional de Bretagne, Rennes, France (Oct 2013-Jan 2015)
  • Charpak Scholarship of Excellence for International Master Program in the University of Rennes1, France (Sep 2012-June 2013)
  • The Tamilnadu Educational Trust- Fresh Scholarship for Master Studies (2007-2008)

                                                                                            "Inspire from Nature " 

                                                                                               Total Citations: 4318

4. Recyclable bio–based epoxy resin thermoset polymer from wood for circular economy: B. Zhang, S. Elangovan, Z. Sun*: 2024, Submitted.

3. Manganese Catalyzed C–C and C–N Bond Formation with Alcohols via Borrowing Hydrogen or Hydrogen Auto-transfer:  M. F. Ansari, A. K. Maurya, A. Kumar, S. Elangovan,* 2024, under revision 

2. Transition-Metal-Catalysed Transfer Hydrogenation Reactions with Glycerol and Carbohydrates as Hydrogen Donors: M. F. Ansari, Anshika, J-B Sortais,* S. Elangovan,* Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2024,  https://doi.org/10.1002/ejoc.202301278

1. Bioactive Molecules from Lignin via Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalytic Pathways: M. Liua, Z. Sun*, S. Elangovan*, Trends in Chemistry, 2023, 5, 713-716.

During my Ph.D. and Postdoc

  1. Cobalt-thiolate complexes in dehydrogenative coupling of hydrostannanes: S. Elangovan, E. Irran, H. F. T. Klare, and M. Oestreich, Organometallics 2022, 41, 852–857. (Invited for front cover picture)
  2. From wood to tetrahydro-2-benzazepines in three waste-free steps: modular synthesis of biologically active lignin-derived scaffolds: S. Elangovan, A. Afanasenko, J. Haupenthal, Y. Liu, Z. Sun, A. K. H. Hirsch, K. Barta, ACS Cent. Sci. 2019, 5, 1707-1716.

              Highlighted in C&EN “Turning lignin into bioactive molecules in three green steps”   
              Highlighted in the “front cover” of ACS Central Science
              Highlighted in “First reactions” A road to profitability from lignin via the production of bioactive molecules. 
              Highlighted in the “ACSPressPac”
              Most read an article in October 2019
             Highlighted in the medicine maker “Waste Not… How can wood be used to produce pharmaceutically relevant compounds?”

  3. Ruthenium and iron‐catalysed decarboxylative N‐alkylation of cyclic α‐amino acids with alcohols: sustainable routes to pyrrolidine and piperidine derivatives: A. Afanasenko, R. Hannah, T. Yan, S. Elangovan, K. Barta, ChemSusChem 2019, 12, 3801-3807.
  4. Primary benzylamines by efficient N-alkylation of benzyl alcohols using commercial Ni catalysts and easy-to-handle ammonia sources: Y. Liu, A. Afanasenko, S. Elangovan, Z. Sun, K. Barta, ACS. Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2019, 7, 11267-11274.
  5. Efficient nickel-catalysed N-alkylation of amines with alcohols: A. Afanasenko, S. Elangovan, M. C. A. Stuart, G. Bonnura, F. Frusteri, K. Barta, Catal. Sci. Technol. 2018, 8, 5498-5505.
  6. The bright side of lignin depolymerization: towards new platform chemicals: Z. Sun, B. Fridrich, A. de Santi, S. Elangovan, K. Barta, Chem. Rev. 2018, 118, 614–678. (Sustainable chemistry special issue)
  7. A stable manganese pincer catalyst for the selective dehydrogenation of methanol: M. A-Fernandez, L. K. Vogt, S. Fischer, W. Zhou, H. Jiao, M. Garbe, S. Elangovan, K. Junge, H. Junge, R. Ludwig, M. Beller, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 559–562.
  8. Molecularly defined manganese pincer complexes for selective transfer hydrogenation of ketones: M. Perez, S. Elangovan, A. Spannenberg, K. Junge, M. Beller, ChemSusChem 2017, 10, 83-86. (Selected as a VIP article)
  9. Improved and general manganese catalyzed N-methylation of aromatic amines using methanol: J. Neumann, S. Elangovan, A. Spannenberg, K. Junge, M. Beller, Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 5410–5413. (Selected as a VIP article and highlighted in the “cover picture” Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23, 5625)
  10. Half-Sandwich manganese complexes bearing Cp tethered N-heterocyclic carbene ligands: synthesis and mechanistic insights into the catalytic ketone hydrosilylation: D. A. Valyaev, D. Wei, S. Elangovan, M. Cavailles, V. Dorcet, J.-B. Sortais, C. Darcel, N. Lugan, Organometallics 2016, 35, 4090–4098.
  11. Selective catalytic two-step process for ethylene glycol from carbon monoxide: K. Dong, S. Elangovan, R. Sang, A. Spannenberg, R. Jackstell, K. Junge, Y. Li, M. Beller, Nat. Commun. 20167, 12075.
  12. Manganese catalyzed hydrogen autotransfer C-C bond formation: α-Alkylation of ketones with primary alcohols: M. Pena-Lopez, P. Piehl, S. Elangovan, H. Neumann, M. Beller, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201655, 14967-14971.
  13. Hydrogenation of esters to alcohols catalyzed by defined manganese pincer complexes: S. Elangovan, M. Garbe, K. Junge, H. Jiao, A. Spannenberg, M. Beller, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 15364–15368. (Selected as a VIP article and highlighted in the “cover picture” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 15184)
  14. Selective catalytic hydrogenation of nitriles to primary amines using iron pincer complexes: S. Lange, S. Elangovan, C. Cordes, A. Spannenberg, H. Junge, S. Bachmann, M. Scalone, C. Topf, K. Junge, M. Beller, Catal. Sci. Technol. 2016, 6, 4768-4772.
  15. Efficient and selective N-alkylation of amines with alcohols catalyzed by manganese pincer complexes: S. Elangovan, J. Neumann, J.-B. Sortais, K. Junge, C. Darcel, M. Beller, Nat. Commun. 2016, 7, 12641.
  16. Selective catalytic hydrogenation of nitriles, ketones and aldehydes by well-defined manganese pincer complexes: S. Elangovan, C. Topf, S. Fischer, H. Jiao, A. Spannenberg, W. Baumann, R. Ludwig, K. Junge, M. Beller, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 8809-8814.
  17. Improved second generation iron pincer complexes for effective ester hydrogenation: S. Elangovan, B. Wendt, C. Topf, S. Bachmann, M. Scalone, A. Spannenberg, H. Jiao, W. Baumann, K. Junge, M. Beller, Adv. Synth. Catal. 2016, 358, 820-825. (Selected as a VIP article)
  18. Iron-catalyzed a-alkylation of ketones with alcohols: S. Elangovan, J.-B. Sortais, M. Beller, C. Darcel, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 14483-14486.
  19. Knölker’s iron complexes bearing a N-heterocyclic carbene ligand: synthesis, characterization, and catalytic dehydration of primary amides: S. Elangovan, S. Quintero-Duque, V. Dorcet, T. Roisnel, L. Norel, C. Darcel, J.-B. Sortais, Organometallics 2015, 34, 4521-4528.
  20. Hydrosilylation of aldehydes and ketones catalyzed by half-sandwich manganese (I) N-heterocyclic carbene complexes: J. Zheng, S. Elangovan, D. A. Valyaev, R. Brousses, V. César, J.-B. Sortais, C. Darcel, N. Lugan, G. Lavigne, Adv. Synth. Catal. 2014, 356, 1093-1097.

                                                                                    "Sustainable and Green Catalysis"

Our group focuses on the development of novel ligands, base metal complexes, and sustainable synthetic methods that enable the valorization of biomass. To date, most of the valuable chemicals are produced from fossil fuels that result in adverse climate change. Hence, our main motive is the synthesis of bio-based chemicals, pharmaceuticals, polymers, etc. using inexpensive ligands and metals as catalysts concerning sustainability, green chemistry, and circular economy. 


                                                                                              "Education is Character"

Entry Course Name Course Code
1 Chemistry I CY-101
2 Chemistry II CY-102
3 Chemistry of Transition and Inner Transition Elements CY-405
4 Chemistry of Coordination Compounds CHI-341
5 Chemistry of Transition and Inner Transition Elements CHI-342
6 Organometallic Chemistry CHI-441
7 Chemistry of Coordination Compounds CY-408
8 Organometallic Chemistry CY-501
9 Inorganic Chemistry M.Sc Lab-I CY-492

                                                                           "Help Each Other and Grow Together"

Research Scholars

1. Mohd Farhan Ansari (mohdfarhanansari.rs.chy22@itbhu.ac.in)

2. Atul Kumar Maurya (atulkumarmaurya.rs.chy23@itbhu.ac.in)

Master Students

1. Abhishek Kumar

2. Nitin Acchelal Yadav

IDD Students

1. Akash Kumar

2. Pakhi Awasthi


1.  Anshika (M.Sc. 2023; Current position: Ph.D. student, Michigan State University, USA)

                                                                                         "Get and Give Back"


Project Funding Agency Year Amount (INR) Status
Development of bioinspired catalysts for hydrofunctionalization reactions SERB 2023-2025 30,63,376 Ongoing
Functionalized NHC metal complexes in catalysis IIT(BHU) 2022 10,00,000 Completed


Green Chemistry: https://www.york.ac.uk/chemistry/research/green/

Organic Chemistry Resource: https://organicchemistrydata.org/

The Schlenk Line Survival Guide: https://schlenklinesurvivalguide.com/

Crystal Growing Tips: https://xray.chem.ufl.edu/helpful-information/crystal-growing-tips/

Lab Safety: https://corporate.dow.com/en-us/science-and-sustainability/innovation/safety-at-dow.html

Internships and Fellowships: 









Indian Academy of Sciences