Prof. István T. HORVÁTH

DSc (Hung Acad Sci),
PhD (U Pannonia)

Chair Professor of Department of Biology and Chemistry

Prof. István T. HORVÁTH

Contact Information

Office: AC1-P6705
Phone: +(852)-3442-7878
Fax: +(852)-3442-0522
Web: Personal Homepage

Research Interests

  • Catalysis
  • Green Chemistry
  • Organometallic Chemistry
  • Fluorous Chemistry
  • In Situ IR and NMR Spectroscopy
  • Biomass Conversion
  • Management of R&D

István T. Horváth received his Diploma in Chemical Engineering (1977) and Ph.D. in Chemistry (1979), both at Veszprem University (now University of Pannonia), Veszprem, Hungary. He was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Yale University (1982 - 1984), a Scientific Co-worker at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland (1984 - 1987), and a Senior Staff Chemist at Exxon (now ExxonMobil) Corporate Research, Annandale, New Jersey (1987-1998). After spending almost 10 years at the Institute of Chemistry, Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary as a Professor, he moved to City University of Hong Kong in May, 2009 and was Head until July 31, 2015.

His research interests center on green chemistry with an emphasis on homogeneous transition metal catalysis, organometallic chemistry, and in situ spectroscopy. His current research focuses on the sustainable conversion of biomass to chemicals and fuels including gamma-valerolactone and the development of sustainable fluorous chemistry. He has published over 150 scientific papers, book chapters and patents and gave more than 125 invited lectures at conferences and workshops, and close to 200 seminars across the World. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the "Encyclopedia of Catalysis" (Wiley, 2002), Editor of “Fluorous Chemistry” (Springer, 2012), and a Co-Editor of Aqueous Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis (Kluwer, 1995), Handbook of Fluorous Chemistry (Wiley-VCH, 2004), and Multiphase Homogeneous Catalysis (Wiley-VCH, 2005). The books on fluorous chemistry were based on the fluorous biphasic concept he invented in the early nineties. He was the Chairman of the COST Action D29 on Sustainable/Green Chemistry and Chemical Technology (2002-2007). He was awarded a D.Sc. in Chemistry by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1998 and was a Szechenyi Professor Scholar (2000 - 2003). He received the 1st Fluorous Technology Award in 2005, the Senior Humboldt Research Award in 2006, and the Green Chemistry Lecture Award of the in 2008. He was a Foundation for Inorganic Chemistry visitor and lecturer at The University of Sydney, Australia in 2009. He is Honorary Member of the National Academy of Sciences Literature and Arts of Modena, Italy, since 2010.  He has been admitted as a Fellow of The Royal Society of Chemistry in 2013. He has been selected as a Fellow of the American Chemical Society in 2014.


  • Tuck, C. O., Perez, E., Horváth, I.T., Sheldon, R. A., Poliakoff, M. (2012) Valorization of biomass: deriving more value from waste” Science, 337, 695.
  • Qi, L, Horváth, I. T. (2012) “Catalytic Conversion of Fructose to γ-Valerolactone in γ-Valerolactone” ACS Catalysis, 2, 2247
  • Akien, G., Qi, L, Horváth, I. T. (2012) “Molecular Mapping of the Acid Catalysed Dehydration of Fructose”  Chem. Comm., 48, 5850.
  • Zhao, Xi ; Ng, W. Y.; Lau, K.-C.; Horváth, I. T (2012) “Generation of perfluoro-t-butoxymethyl ponytails for enhanced fluorous partition for aromatics and heterocycles.” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 14, 3909.
  • Collis, A. E. C.; Horváth, I. T. (2011) “Heterogenization of Homogeneous Catalytic Systems” Cat. Sci. & Techn., 1, 912.
  • Mika, L.T.; Tuba, R.; Toth, I.; Pitter, S.; Horváth, I.T. (2011) “Molecular Mapping of the Catalytic Cycle of the Cobalt-Catalyzed Hydromethoxy-carbonylation of  1,3-Butadiene in the Presence of Pyridine in Methanol Organometallics, 30, 4751.
  • Fegyverneki,D.; Orha, L; Láng, G.; Horváth, I. T (2010) “Gamma-valerolactone based solvents” Tetrahedron, 66, 1078.
  • Fábos, V.; Koczó, G.; Mehdi, H.; Boda, L.; Horváth, I. T. (2009) “Bio-oxygenates and the Peroxide Number: A Safety Issue” Energy & Env. Sci., 2, 767.
  • Horváth, I. T. (2008), "Solvents from Nature",Green Chem., 10, 1024.
  •  Horváth, I. T., Mehdi, H., Fabos, V., Boda, L. and Mika, L. T. (2008), "Gamma-valerolactone: A Sustainable Liquid for Energy and Carbon-based Chemicals"Green Chem., 10, 238.
  • Horváth, I. T. and Anastas, P. T. (2007), "Innovations and Green Chemistry",Chem. Rev., 107, 2169.
  • Horváth, I. T. (1998), "Fluorous Biphase Chemistry",Acc. Chem. Res., 31, 641
  • Horváth, I. T. and Rabai, J. (1994) "Facile Catalyst Separation without Water: Fluorous Biphase Hydroformylation of Olefins",Science, 266, 72.