Eldar B. Zeynalov

The information on Prof. Dr. Eldar Zeynalov academic achievements

The brief description of the scientific activity presented from Prof. Dr. EldarZeynalov (to be helpful for the nominator and expert reviewers)

I am Eldar Zeynalov, Professor, Doctor of Chemical Sciences affiliated from the Institute of Catalysis and Inorganic Chemistry of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences take this courage to be nominated for the Humboldt Research Award supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. I am nominated for the AWARD provided that I have first contributed in the development of nanochemistry in my land (Azerbaijan) and that I have made the lasting impact on the research area in Azerbaijan and presumably also beyond and expect to continue my producing the cutting-edge achievements in near future. 

My scientific activity was started from 1971 when I was post-graduate student at the Institute of Chemical Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Later on, in 1976 I defended the candidate’s (PhD) thesis entitled “Investigation in the field of oxidative destruction and stabilization of polyorganosiloxanes” under supervision of academician N. M. Emanuel. Then I continued my scientific activity at the Institute of Polymeric Materials (1974-1995), Institute of Petrochemical Processes (1995 – 2014) and Institute of Catalysis and Inorganic Chemistry (2014 to present) of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences where I held positions of research fellow, head of the scientific sector and head of the laboratory, respectively. In 1989 I successfully defended the doctoral dissertation entitled “Antiradical activity of indigenous structures of petroleum origin” and received the DSc’s degree. Since 2010 I am Full Professor on the speciality “Chemistry of High-molecular Compounds”.

My scientific life for the last 18 years is closely connected with German and United Kingdom scientists. Just at this time period, my scientific activity has been flourished and finally it has found the recognized output. In 1997 I was awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service’s (DAAD) grant and have made a cycle of remarkable work devoted to the kinetic determination of polymeric structures derived from the vernonia oil at the Free University (Berlin) under leadership of Prof. Dr. Gerhard Kossmehl. As a result of these investigations two articles have been published in the prestigious journals: Die Angewandte Makromolekulare Chemie and Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics (IF = 2.4) (see the publication list). There has been preciously determined for the first time the rate constants of antioxidative activityof methyl cis-13(12)-{3-(3,5-di-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyphenyl)propionyloxy}-12(13)-hydroxyoleate, cis-13(12)-{3-(3,5-di-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyphenyl)propionyloxy}-12(13)-hydroxyoleic, 3-(3,5-ditert-butyl-4-hydroxyphenyl)propionic acids and their macromolecular analogs as well. These results have opened a wide field for applications of vernonia oil derivatives as a possible material source for synthesis of technically applicable strong antioxidants for plastic materials.

The cooperation with Prof. Dr. G Kossmehl was so fruitful that we then decided to continue our joint investigations and we submitted to the German Research Foundation (DFG) a new perspective project entitled “Untersuchungen von Fulleren C-60 und speziellen Irganox-Derivaten als Stabilisatoren und Antioxidantien für Kohlenwasserstoffe, speziell für Polymere“. The project was approved by the DFG and we received the „carte blanche“ for development of this scientific line. Part of the project work was performed in my mother land, so that I was first chemist who has introduced the nanotechnology into scientific researches in Azerbaijan and first Azerbaijan boffin who has published a number of articles, preprints and books devoted to this topic (see the publication list). One of these articles entitled „Fullerene C60 as an antioxidant for polymers“ published in Polymer Degradation and Stability has made a great impact and has collected  by 2015 maximal 328 citations forming thereby my actual Hirsch Index (11 points) and i10 Index (14 points).  According to these investigations I was one of the first in the world who has revealed the thermo-stabilizing effects of fullerenes C60–C70 in oxidizing polyolefin materials.

Next step of my activity was connected with elaboration of screening methods for determination of a status of antioxidants in geosynthetic polyolefin materials – nonwovens, tape yarns, geomembranes, geogrids, cable sheetings. These explorations were performed in 1999-2001 yrs. according to invitation of Prof. Dr. Manfred Hennecke at the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM –Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung), project group BAM VI.1901/0404-VI-0229 (head is Dr. H. Schroeder). This work was supported by the DAAD (2000) and then directly by the BAM organization, afforded 7 publications and were reported at the European International Conferences and Symposiums (Addcon World -2000/2001, EDANA, KGEO and oths.). The developed speeded-up kinetic tools were ultimately recommended for the industry to predict and determine service life and performance of the geosynthetic polymer materials.

The year of 2003 has opened new page in my scientific activity: I received an invitation from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), director of the Dalton Research Centre Prof. Dr. N.S. Allen for making joint work and collaboration in the field of nano-grade TiO2, to study a role of nano-TiO2 in the oil hydrocarbons and polyolefines aerobic oxidation. Within this framework I was repeatedly supported by the Royal Society and directly by the MMU and have performed a lot of researches until 2009 with some interruptions. Main topics of these study were: “Modelling of antioxidative processes in the presence of titania nanoparticles” and “Kinetic determination of inhibition rate constants of fullerenes”. There was shown for the first time the catalytic impact of nano-TiO2 on the oxidation reactions, and rate constants of the elementary and macroscopic stages of the oxidation had been measured. There was given a full-scale scheme of the processes. In terms of the degree of the sensitizing action the investigated titanium dioxides have been ordered as: nano-rutile untreated >nano-anatase treated hydroxyapatite >nano-anatase untreated > (nano-anatase (75%) + nano-rutile (25%)) untreated > micro-anatase untreated > micro-rutile treated. This scientific line has further received unexpected continuation in Azerbaijan where we, also for the first time, have applied nano-TiO2 anataze and rutile samples for esterification reactions. We have received the striking results: a yield of targeted esters was over 90%. On this basis of the new economically sound and environmentally clean process of the esters production has been developed and recommended for implementation in the domestic industrial enterprises.

Together with UK scientists I have also fulfilled a series of remarkable explorations on determination of the rate constants for a quite number of the commercial antioxidants and stabilizers: – Chimassorbs 119, 119F, 944, 2020; Irganox 1010; Cyasorbs UV 1164, UV 2908; 3529, Lowinoxes CPL, 22IB46; Naugard 445; Genox EP; Weston TNPP, as well as afterwards fullerenes C60, C70 and fullerene soot. We did the experiments very precisely and accurately and the rate constants obtained were recommended for the precious data bank of activity of most important basic stabilizes and antioxidants. The quantitative data were helpful for designing an optimal profile of the polymer composites under stress condition environment.

Another noteworthy works were made together with Prof. N.S. Allen and coauthors on a series of amine derivatives of buckminsterfullerene (C60) with tethered aliphatic chain, cycloaliphatic and aromatic fragments. There have been first obtained the results indicating that linking the amine moieties groups directly to the fullerene core gives rise to a new chain breaking antioxidant mode for the buckminsterfullerene while cyclic fragments containing the same but distant amine group do not reveal this ability. The inhibition rate constants for trapping of peroxy radicals by the amine derivatives were found to be higher than that of known aromatic amine antioxidants Neozone-D and Naugard 445. In addition the C60 part of these molecules acts synergistically by trapping alkyl radicals with inhibition rate constants which exceed that of virgin fullerene. The amine derivative containing sterically hindered piperidine and pyrrolidine fragments also heighten the inherent rate constant of buckminsterfullerene for scavenging alkyl radicals due to the additional antioxidant contribution promoted by the radical-quenching ability of the formed nitroxyl intermediates. These novel C60–amine conjugates may be considered as promising molecules for broad-spectrum radical scavenging antioxidants.

Further, I would like to make a special emphasis on my scientific activity with eminent German scientist, Prof., Dr. rer. nat. habil. Joerg Friedrich, director of the division 6.5 “Polymer Surfaces” of the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM –Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung). I have been collaborating with Prof. J. Friedrich and with his BAM group since 2005.  During this cooperation I was three times, respectively in 2005, 2008 and 2011, granted by the DAAD and two times was granted by the DFG in 2006 and 2010 yrs. as well as have received the direct BAM Institute invitation in 2012 to make the projects entitled “Determination of an antioxidative activity of carbon nanotubes, particularly of the multiwalled carbon nanotube CNT-MW(1b)”; „Untersuchung der antioxidativen Aktivität von Carbonanotubes und Nanofibres durch Modellreaktionen“; „Kinetic study of an oxidative activity of the functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes“; „Investigation of the antioxidative activity of carbon nanotubes and nanofibers by means of a model chain reaction“; and „Plasma-chemically brominated carbon nanotubes as novel catalysts for petroleum hydrocarbons aerobic oxidation“. Carrying out these projects the antioxidative capacity of a set of MWCNT and CNF (manufacturer is German FutureCarbon GmbH) have been measured. At that time „a priori“ it was assumed the antioxidative behaviour of CNT and CNF as radical traps in such chain reactions as the polymerization and oxidation. The experiments have shown however that the antioxidative activity of the CNT is five times higher than that for the CNF, is about equal to the rate constant for HAS Chimassorb 2020: k[Chim. 2020]  (2.2 ± 0.3) s-1, is ten times less than that for the HAS Chimassorb 119FL: k[Chim. 119FL] = (2.8 ± 0.3) •105 s-1 and is about forty times less than that for the case of fullerene C60: k[C60] = (1.2 ± 0.2) •106 s-1. The kinetics of the reactions unequivocally showed that the inhibition effects strongly depend on the nature and amount of metals containing in the nanoparticles.

Next important steps was made toward the advanced investigations when for the first time the brominated MWCNT and SWCNT [(Br)n-CNT] produced by the plasma-chemical technique were involved in the liquid-phase process of hydrocarbons aerobic oxidation. The powerful catalytic effect of the [(Br)n-CNT] was revealed at first in the model reaction of cumene initiated oxidation and then in experiments on profound aerobic oxidation of oil naphthenic fraction derived from the diesel cut of Azerbaijan (Baku) oils blend. The ability of [(Br)n-CNT] to catalyze the oxidation of hydrocarbons was found out for the first time. Obviously this phenomenon originates from the peculiarities of electronic configuration ofthe [(Br)n-CNT] patterns. The plausible mechanism of the catalytic action includes the formation of reactive oxygen species. The catalytic activity of [(Br)n-CNT] markedly exceeds the activity of the industrial catalysts of transition metal’s salts of indigenous petroleum acids used for the liquid phase petroleum hydrocarbons oxidation processes.

At that moment the investigations are situated at the initial phase and require further thorough elaborations.  Now I have the extensive program of my further research activity and see its realization in close collaboration with colleagues from Technical University (Prof. Dr. Manfred Wagner and Prof., Dr. Joerg Friedrich).

 Recently I’ve got new opportunities to collaborate with Dresden Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research (Prof. Dr. Manfred Hennecke, Dr. Alexey Popov) in the field of fullerene C60 endohedral metalcontaining complexes. It is expected that the complexes will be extremely effective for oxidation of hydrocarbons as catalysts.

 The above mentioned Institutes have necessary facilities and scientific infrastructure to continue joint investigations.

 At this juncture, new books E.Zeynalov & J.Friedrich “ Carbonaceous Nanocompounds in Aerobic Oxidation Processes of Hydrocarbons and Polyolefines“ and E.Zeynalov “Fullerenes and Nano-Grade Titanium Dioxides in the Air Oxidation Environments”are intensively prepared. First chapters of the books have been completed and redacted. The books are waiting for its full completion during next joint projects to be presented to the Springer-Verlag or John Wiley & Sons, Inc. publishing houses.

Up to the date I have 308 publications, including 187 articles, 8 books and monographs, 14 patents. I am also a scientific supervisor and research manager of many students, post-graduates and PhDs. In particular I am scientific manager and supervisor of diploma works of the students of Baku branch Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov. 

Furthermore, I am first chemist in the Republic of Azerbaijan who have introduced and elaborated the fundamental and practical aspects of nanochemistry in the land.

As a scientist I am currently positioned at the top of my scientific activity, my thoughts and ideas are clear and mighty. I would like to specify that for the years I have gained this unique ability to consider analytically main points of any incoming scientific information and scripts. 

Thus, I expect to continue the developing research-based solutions to the specified challenges.

So far I am academically influential researcher in the coming years and I am able to make substantial contributions to the development and steep rising of Azerbaijan Republic.

Eldar Zeynalov, Prof., Dr.
Head of the lab."Oxidation by hydrogen peroxide
in the presence of carbon nanocatalysts"
Institute of Catalysis & Inorganic Chemistry            
Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences