Nature has mastered the art of using electrons from so-called non-innocent ligands for generating highly potent transition metal catalysts for performing activation of small molecules and their catalytic transformation. Taking inspiration from nature, in this project we try to use the special electron reservoir properties of quinones and mesoionic carbenes
for generating metal complexes for the activation and production of H2, and for the activation of O2, CO2 and H2O. Incorporation of non-innocent ligands in the metal complexes make the multi-electron and proton transfer required for such transformation readily available. We then try to couple the activation of these small molecules to using them for catalytic transformations to generate useful fine chemicals.