Rinaldi’s research focuses on the catalytic valorisation of lignin and cellulose by unconventional approaches, such as catalytic transfer hydrogenation, mechanocatalysis and solvent design.
Roberto Rinaldi studied Chemistry at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP, São Paulo, Brazil), where he received his PhD in 2006 under Prof. Ulf Schuchardt. Following a brief stay as a scientist in the Brazilian Synchrotron Laboratory (LNLS) in 2007, he joined the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany) as a postdoctoral research fellow in the group of Ferdi Schüth. In 2009, he was promoted to Junior Group Leader, and in 2010, he received the highly prestigious and competitive Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation that allowed him to establish an independent research group on catalysis for lignin valorisation. For his contribution to advanced concepts for dissolution and deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass, he was awarded the Willi Keim Prize 2014 given by the Advanced Fluids Subject Division of ProcessNet (an initiative of DECHEMA and VDI-GVC). In 2015, he took up the post of senior lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London.
Since 2013, he has served as a co-editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry book series ‘Energy and Environmental Science’. Within this series, Roberto Rinaldi edited the book ‘Catalytic Hydrogenation for Biomass Valorisation’ (2014)