Author Archives: Tyler Josephson

Elections for the 2015–2016 CCP Season

Elections for the 2015–2016 Season Executive Committee will be held on April 16th 2015

Candidates for the CCP Executive Committee

  • Chair-Elect: Anton Petushkov, Daniel Slanac (3 year appoint­ment)
  • Trea­sur­er: Roger Grey, Steve Har­ris
  • Direc­tors: Pran­nit Metkar, Eric Sacia , Bingjun Xu
  • NACS Rep­re­sen­ta­tive: Chuck Coe, Dion Vla­chos (4 year appoint­ment)

Biographical sketches of the candidates

Chair-Elect (3 year appointment)

  • Anton Petushkov received his Ph.D. degree in Chem­istry from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa where he researched nano­sized zeo­lite syn­the­sis from 2006 to 2011. In 2010 Anton par­tic­i­pat­ed in intern­ship in Chevron, where he worked with Stacey Zones on mul­ti­ple projects. Anton joined Zeolyst Inter­na­tion­al in 2011 and has been work­ing there on the devel­op­ment of new zeo­lite prod­ucts for a vari­ety of cus­tom and auto­mo­tive appli­ca­tions. Anton has been a mem­ber of the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia since 2011 and has been the club’s sec­re­tary since 2012.
  • Dan Slanac has been a Research Inves­ti­ga­tor in DuPont Cen­tral Research and Devel­op­ment in Wilm­ing­ton, DE since 2012. His cur­rent work is focused on devel­op­ing next gen­er­a­tion cel­lu­losic ethanol process­es. He received a B.S. in bio­mol­e­c­u­lar engi­neer­ing from the Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­si­ty in Bal­ti­more, MD in 2007. Imme­di­ate­ly after, he went to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Austin, where he obtained a Ph.D. in chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing in 2012, work­ing with Prof. Kei­th John­ston and Prof. Kei­th Steven­son on the syn­the­sis of PGM and non-PGM cat­a­lysts (per­ovskites and oth­er oxides) for oxy­gen reduc­tion in PEM fuel cells and met­al-air bat­ter­ies. Dan joined the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia in 2013 and is the Pro­gram Chair this year. ToC


  • Roger Grey After almost 40 years work­ing in the chem­i­cal indus­try uti­liz­ing my PhD in Chem­istry, I recent­ly retired from Lyon­dell Chem­i­cal Com­pa­ny. Much of my career was involved in catal­y­sis chem­i­cal research and process devel­op­ment in homo­ge­neous and het­ero­ge­neous oxi­da­tion and hydro­gena­tion catal­y­sis includ­ing met­als, sup­port­ed met­als and zeo­lites. I have been a mem­ber of the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia for over 20 years hold­ing sev­er­al offi­cer posi­tions, includ­ing pro­gram chair, direc­tor, chair and trea­sur­er as well as co-chair for the poster ses­sion for the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety Meet­ing (NAM) the last time it was held in Philadel­phia. Even though I am retired, I intend to stay active in the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia activ­i­ties.
  • Stephen Har­ris Organ­ic Chemist/Scientist. 32 years in petrochemical/refining process def­i­n­i­tion and opti­miza­tion, prod­uct devel­op­ment and tech­ni­cal ser­vice for ARCO Chem­i­cal and its suc­ces­sors. Three years in bio­chem­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion process devel­op­ment. Past trea­sur­er. ToC

NACS Representative (4 year appointment)

  • Dr. Charles Coe, Research Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing, comes to Vil­lano­va with more than 30 years of expe­ri­ence in the devel­op­ment of cat­a­lysts and adsor­bents. At Vil­lano­va he is shar­ing his knowl­edge with the next gen­er­a­tion of engi­neers and sci­en­tists. He is active­ly involved in devel­op­ing and teach­ing alter­na­tive ener­gy cours­es at both the under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate lev­el. His research at Vil­lano­va, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Drs. Satrio and Smith, is focused on the ther­mal chem­i­cal con­ver­sion of bio­mass using cat­alyt­ic path­ways to enhance car­bon yield and prod­uct selec­tiv­i­ty. He also is involved in Cor­po­rate spon­sored research on the sep­a­ra­tion and purifi­ca­tion of gas­es over mol­e­c­u­lar sieves. Dur­ing his indus­tri­al career at Air Prod­ucts he devel­oped an exten­sive exper­tise in mol­e­c­u­lar sieve sci­ence and catal­y­sis. For many years he teamed with project lead­ers across busi­ness units to enable the devel­op­ment of improved adsor­bents and cat­a­lysts based on cre­at­ing struc­ture-prop­er­ty rela­tion­ships tar­get­ed at spe­cif­ic appli­ca­tions. He has been active in the PCC for 35 years and served in most admin­is­tra­tive posi­tions of the PCC over this peri­od of time.
  • Dion Vla­chos is the Eliz­a­beth Inez Kel­ley Pro­fes­sor of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware and the Direc­tor of the Catal­y­sis Cen­ter for Ener­gy Inno­va­tion (CCEI), an Ener­gy Fron­tier Research Cen­ter (EFRC) fund­ed by the Depart­ment of Ener­gy (DOE). Dr. Vla­chos obtained a five years diplo­ma in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from the Nation­al Tech­ni­cal Univ. of Athens, in Greece, in 1987. He obtained his MS and Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta in 1990 and 1992, respec­tive­ly, and spent a post­doc­tor­al year at the Army High Per­for­mance Com­put­ing Research Cen­ter, MN, after which he joined UMass as an Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor. He was pro­mot­ed to an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at UMass in 1998. He joined the Univ. of Delaware in 2000. He was a Vis­it­ing Fel­low at Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in the spring of 2000, a vis­it­ing fac­ul­ty at Thomas Jef­fer­son Univ. and Hos­pi­tal in spring of 2007 and the George Pierce Dis­tin­guished Prof. of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing and Mate­ri­als Sci­ence at the Univ. of Min­neso­ta in the fall of 2007. Dr. Vla­chos is the recip­i­ent of the R. H. Wil­helm Award in Chem­i­cal Reac­tion Engi­neer­ing from AIChE, an AAAS Fel­low, an ONR Young Inves­ti­ga­tor Award and a NSF Career Award. He is a mem­ber of the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Engi­neers, the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety, the Com­bus­tion Insti­tute, the Catal­y­sis Soci­ety, and SIAM. His main research thrust is mul­ti­scale mod­el­ing and sim­u­la­tion along with their appli­ca­tion to catal­y­sis, crys­tal growth, portable micro­chem­i­cal devices for pow­er gen­er­a­tion, pro­duc­tion of renew­able fuels and chem­i­cals, cat­a­lyst infor­mat­ics, detailed and reduced kinet­ic mod­el devel­op­ment, and process inten­si­fi­ca­tion. He is the cor­re­spond­ing author of more than 300 ref­er­eed pub­li­ca­tions and has giv­en near­ly 200 ple­nary lec­tures, keynote lec­tures, and oth­er invit­ed talks. He has served as an exec­u­tive edi­tor of the Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing Sci­ence jour­nal and has served or serves on the edi­to­r­i­al advi­so­ry board of sev­er­al jour­nals (e.g., ACS Catal., Indus­tri­al and Engi­neer­ing Chem­istry Research (I&ECR), Applied Catal­y­sis A: Gen­er­al, The Com­bus­tion Insti­tute, The Open Ener­gy and Fuels Jour­nal, the Jour­nal of Nano Ener­gy and Pow­er Research, and J. Chem. Eng. & Proc. Tech.) ToC


  • Dr. Pran­it Metkar is a Research Inves­ti­ga­tor in DuPont’s Cen­tral Research and Devel­op­ment at the Exper­i­men­tal Sta­tion in Wilm­ing­ton, DE. He has been work­ing with DuPont since June 2012. His main areas of exper­tise include exper­i­men­tal and com­pu­ta­tion­al catal­y­sis and chem­i­cal reac­tion engi­neer­ing. His cur­rent research at DuPont is focused on pro­duc­ing non-fuel chem­i­cals from bio­mass. Before that, he received his Ph.D. in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hous­ton, TX under the guid­ance of Prof. Michael Harold and Prof. Vemuri Bal­ako­ta­iah. His Ph.D. research involved exper­i­men­tal and mod­el­ing of Fe/Cu-zeo­lite-wash­coat­ed mono­lith­ic cat­a­lysts used for NOx reduc­tion in diesel engine vehi­cles. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from the Insti­tute of Chem­i­cal Tech­nol­o­gy, Mum­bai, India. He has been an active mem­ber of Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia since 2012. Pran­it served as the Mem­ber­ship Direc­tor for the CCP dur­ing 2014–2015.
  • Dr. Eric R. Sacia is cur­rent­ly a Research Inves­ti­ga­tor at DuPont’s Cen­tral Research & Devel­op­ment in Wilm­ing­ton, DE. In this posi­tion, his work focus­es on selec­tive oxi­da­tion catal­y­sis and process devel­op­ment in the field of renew­ably-sourced chem­i­cals and mate­ri­als. Pri­or to work­ing with DuPont, he received his PhD in Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley with Prof. Alex­is T. Bell, dur­ing which time he was rec­og­nized with a Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion Grad­u­ate Research Fel­low­ship and as a Kokes award win­ner for the North Amer­i­can Catal­y­sis Soci­ety dur­ing the 23rd NAM. His the­sis con­cen­trat­ed on the elu­ci­da­tion of new cat­alyt­ic path­ways from bio­mass-derived furan­ics and relat­ed deriv­a­tives to auto­mo­bile lubri­cants as well as gaso­line, diesel, and jet fuel. Dur­ing the course of this work, Eric stud­ied nov­el chem­i­cal path­ways using het­ero­ge­neous acid, base, and selec­tive hydro­gena­tion catal­y­sis through the frame­work of reac­tion kinet­ics and cat­a­lyst fun­da­men­tals. In addi­tion to his pub­lished arti­cles, patent appli­ca­tions, and pre­sen­ta­tions in the field of catal­y­sis, he also has pri­or indus­tri­al expe­ri­ence with Marathon Petro­le­um. Eric has an exten­sive back­ground in lead­er­ship roles, serv­ing most recent­ly as DuPont’s Safe­ty Day Co-Chair along with roles in the Grad­u­ate Stu­dent Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee, Lab Com­mit­tee, and Safe­ty Com­mit­tee at UC, Berke­ley. He hopes to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to serve the Philadel­phia area catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty as a direc­tor of CCP.
  • Bingjun Xu is cur­rent­ly an Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing at Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware. Bingjun received his Ph.D. in Phys­i­cal Chem­istry from Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty in 2011. After fin­ish­ing his post­doc­tor­al research at Cal­tech, he joined Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware in the fall of 2013. Bingjun’s research inter­est spans het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis, elec­tro­catal­y­sis and in-situ spec­troscopy. Bingjun joined CCP in 2011, and has been an active mem­ber since. He orga­nized the CCP annu­al poster com­pe­ti­tion in 2014, which was well-attend­ed and had the high­est num­ber poster pre­sen­ta­tions.

The Design of New Catalysts for Biomass Conversion with Atomic Layer Deposition

Meeting Program — April 2015

George Huber
Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal and Bio­log­i­cal Engi­neer­ing
Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin, Madi­son, WI

The objec­tive of the Huber research group is to devel­op new cat­alyt­ic process­es and cat­alyt­ic mate­ri­als for the pro­duc­tion of renew­able fuels and chem­i­cals from bio­mass, solar ener­gy, and nat­ur­al gas resources. We use a wide range of mod­ern chem­i­cal engi­neer­ing tools to design and opti­mize these clean tech­nolo­gies includ­ing: het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis, kinet­ic mod­el­ing, reac­tion engi­neer­ing, spec­troscopy, ana­lyt­i­cal chem­istry, nan­otech­nol­o­gy, cat­a­lyst syn­the­sis, con­cep­tu­al process design, and the­o­ret­i­cal chem­istry. In this pre­sen­ta­tion we will first dis­cuss the hydrodeoxy­gena­tion of bio­mass into dif­fer­ent fuels and chem­i­cals. In addi­tion we can use HDO to eas­i­ly pro­duce new class­es mol­e­cules that are not cur­rent­ly pro­duced from petro­le­um feed­stocks. Hydrodeoxy­gena­tion (HDO) is a plat­form tech­nol­o­gy used to con­vert liq­uid bio­mass feed­stocks (includ­ing aque­ous car­bo­hy­drates, pyrol­y­sis oils, and aque­ous enzy­mat­ic prod­ucts) into alka­nes, alco­hols and poly­ols. In this process the bio­mass feed reacts with hydro­gen to pro­duce water and a deoxy­genat­ed prod­uct using a bifunc­tion­al cat­a­lyst that con­tains both met­al and acid sites. The chal­lenge with HDO is to selec­tive­ly pro­duce tar­get­ed prod­ucts that can be used as fuel blend­stocks or chem­i­cals and to decrease the hydro­gen con­sump­tion. We will dis­cuss how dif­fer­ent bio­mass based feed­stocks can be con­vert­ed into fuels or chem­i­cals by HDO. We will out­line the fun­da­men­tal cat­alyt­ic chem­istry and the sci­en­tif­ic chal­lenges. We will then dis­cuss how ALD can be used to design improved cat­alyt­ic mate­ri­als.

Atom­ic lay­er depo­si­tion (ALD) has emerged as a tool for the atom­i­cal­ly pre­cise design and syn­the­sis of cat­alyt­ic mate­ri­als. We dis­cuss exam­ples where the atom­ic pre­ci­sion has been used to elu­ci­date reac­tion mech­a­nisms and cat­a­lyst struc­ture-prop­er­ty rela­tion­ships by cre­at­ing mate­ri­als with a con­trolled dis­tri­b­u­tion of size, com­po­si­tion, and active site. We high­light ways ALD has been uti­lized to design cat­a­lysts with improved activ­i­ty, selec­tiv­i­ty, and sta­bil­i­ty under a vari­ety of con­di­tions (e.g., high tem­per­a­ture, gas- and liq­uid-phase, and cor­ro­sive envi­ron­ments). In addi­tion, due to the flex­i­bil­i­ty and con­trol of struc­ture and com­po­si­tion, ALD can cre­ate myr­i­ad cat­alyt­ic struc­tures (e.g., high sur­face area oxides, met­al nanopar­ti­cles, bimetal­lic nanopar­ti­cles, bifunc­tion­al cat­a­lysts, con­trolled micro-envi­ron­ments, etc.) that con­se­quent­ly pos­sess applic­a­bil­i­ty for a wide-rang­ing num­ber of chem­i­cal reac­tions (e.g., CO2 con­ver­sion, elec­tro­catal­y­sis, pho­to­cat­alyt­ic and ther­mal water split­ting, methane con­ver­sion, ethane and propane dehy­dro­gena­tion, and bio­mass con­ver­sion). Final­ly, the out­look for ALD-derived cat­alyt­ic mate­ri­als is dis­cussed with empha­sis on the pend­ing chal­lenges as well as areas of sig­nif­i­cant poten­tial for build­ing sci­en­tif­ic insight and achiev­ing prac­ti­cal impacts.

George Huber
George W. Huber is a Pro­fes­sor of Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing at Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son. His research focus is on devel­op­ing new cat­alyt­ic process­es for the pro­duc­tion of renew­able liq­uid fuels and chem­i­cals.

George is one of the most high­ly cit­ed young schol­ars in the chem­i­cal sci­ences being cit­ed over 3,200 times in 2014 and over 14,000 times in his career. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed pub­li­ca­tions includ­ing three pub­li­ca­tions in Sci­ence. Patents and tech­nolo­gies he has helped devel­op have been licensed by three dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies. He has received sev­er­al awards includ­ing the NSF CAREER award, the Drey­fus Teacher-Schol­ar award, fel­low of the Roy­al Soci­ety of Chem­istry, and the out­stand­ing young fac­ul­ty award (2010) by the col­lege of engi­neer­ing at UMass-Amherst. He has been named one of the top 100 peo­ple in bioen­er­gy by Bio­fu­els Digest for the past 3 years. He is co-founder of Anel­lotech a bio­chem­i­cal com­pa­ny focused on com­mer­cial­iz­ing, cat­alyt­ic fast pyrol­y­sis, a tech­nol­o­gy to pro­duce renew­able aro­mat­ics from bio­mass. George serves on the edi­to­r­i­al board of Ener­gy and Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence, Chem­CatChem, and The Cat­a­lyst Review. In June 2007, he chaired a NSF and DOE fund­ed work­shop enti­tled: Break­ing the Chem­i­cal and Engi­neer­ing Bar­ri­ers to Lig­no­cel­lu­losic Bio­fu­els (www​.ecs​.umass​.edu/​b​i​o​f​u​els).

George did a post-doc­tor­al stay with Aveli­no Cor­ma at the Tech­ni­cal Chem­i­cal Insti­tute at the Poly­tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Valen­cia, Spain (UPV-CSIC) where he stud­ied bio-fuels pro­duc­tion using petro­le­um refin­ing tech­nolo­gies. He obtained his Ph.D. in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son (2005). He obtained his B.S. (1999) and M.S.(2000) degrees in Chem­i­cal Engi­neer­ing from Brigham Young Uni­ver­si­ty.

DFT Investigation of Hydrogenation and Dehydrogenation Reactions on Binary Metal Alloys: Effect of Surface Ensembles and Composition

Meeting Program — March 2015

Fuat E Celik
Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing
Rut­gers, The State Uni­ver­si­ty of New Jer­sey

Fuat Celik
In sup­port­ed met­al cat­a­lysts, the trade­off between activ­i­ty and selec­tiv­i­ty presents an impor­tant chal­lenge for cat­a­lyst design. By allow­ing two dis­sim­i­lar met­als, we can attempt to tune the selec­tiv­i­ty of the cat­a­lyst by enhanc­ing bond-for­ma­tion and des­orp­tion rates through the addi­tion of a less-reac­tive ele­ment, while main­tain high bond dis­so­ci­a­tion activ­i­ty from the more active met­al. The result­ing cat­a­lyst prop­er­ties depend strong­ly on the cat­a­lyst com­po­si­tion and ratio of the two met­als (elec­tron­ic effect), but may also depend on the local struc­ture of sur­face ensem­bles of the alloy com­po­nents (geo­met­ric effect). In this talk we will explore two exam­ples of bina­ry alloys where sur­face com­po­si­tion and geom­e­try play an impor­tant role in deter­min­ing the selec­tiv­i­ty of the cat­a­lyst through den­si­ty func­tion­al the­o­ry (DFT).

In the first exam­ple, we have exam­ined the effect of plat­inum tin alloy struc­ture and com­po­si­tion on the kinet­ics and ther­mo­dy­nam­ics of dehy­dro­gena­tion and coke for­ma­tion path­ways dur­ing light alka­ne dehy­dro­gena­tion. Light alka­ne dehy­dro­gena­tion to olefins can add sig­nif­i­cant val­ue to hydro­car­bon process­es that gen­er­ate ethane and propane by con­vert­ing low val­ue com­mod­i­ty fuels to high-val­ue chem­i­cal and poly­mer pre­cur­sors. Sup­port­ed Pt cat­a­lysts are known to be active but show sig­nif­i­cant coke for­ma­tion and deac­ti­va­tion, which can be alle­vi­at­ed by alloy­ing with Sn and oth­er main group ele­ments. We aim to under­stand how the struc­ture and com­po­si­tion of these alloys affect their abil­i­ty to sup­press coke for­ma­tion. We inves­ti­gate the poten­tial ener­gy sur­faces from ethane along the desired path­way to ethene, and along the unde­sired path­ways towards sur­face carbon/coke. The effect of Pt/Sn ratio and sur­face geom­e­try is inves­ti­gat­ed. As com­pared to pure Pt, bond scis­sion is more dif­fi­cult on the alloys and des­orp­tion is more facile, and both effects are enhanced as three-fold hol­low sites con­sist­ing of only Pt atoms are elim­i­nat­ed.

In the sec­ond exam­ple, we eval­u­ate Au/Ni near-sur­face alloys as poten­tial oxy­gen reduc­tion cat­a­lysts for the direct syn­the­sis of hydro­gen per­ox­ide from O2 and H2, there­by avoid­ing the cur­rent anthraquinone process. While Au may have high­er O-H bond for­ma­tion activ­i­ty, it is a poor O2-dis­so­ci­a­tion cat­a­lyst, and like­wise Ni is very effec­tive at O2-dis­so­ci­a­tion but not oxy­gen hydro­gena­tion. Alloy­ing Au with Ni(111) low­ers H2 dis­so­ci­a­tion bar­ri­er while keep­ing the O2 dis­so­ci­a­tion bar­ri­er large rel­a­tive to O2 hydro­gena­tion. Des­orp­tion of H2O2 is sim­i­lar­ly com­pet­i­tive with H2O2 dis­so­ci­a­tion on alloy sur­faces. How­ev­er, the selec­tiv­i­ty for the OOH rad­i­cal remains a chal­lenge, with bar­ri­er­less O-O bond dis­so­ci­a­tion and large (1.3 eV) hydro­gena­tion bar­ri­ers. We fur­ther inves­ti­gate how the Au/Ni sur­face may rearrange itself to regen­er­ate three-fold hol­lows of Ni atoms in the pres­ence of strong­ly adsorb­ing sur­face species.

Methane Conversion to Methanol on Copper Containing Small Pore Zeolites

Meeting Program — February 2015

Bahar Ipek
Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing
Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware

Bahar Ipek
Methan­otroph­ic bac­te­ria con­tain­ing par­tic­u­lar methane monooxy­ge­nase (pMMO), a Cu-con­tain­ing enzyme, or sol­u­ble methane monooxy­ge­nase (sMMO), an iron-met­al­loen­zyme can oxi­dize methane to methanol selec­tive­ly at ambi­ent con­di­tions 1. The zeo­lite Cu-ZSM-5 was report­ed to acti­vate the methane C-H bond—with a homolyt­ic bond dis­so­ci­a­tion ener­gy of 104 kcal/mol— at tem­per­a­tures as low as 120 °C 2 after pre­treat­ment in O2 3. The reac­tive cop­per species are believed to con­tain extra-lat­tice oxy­gen, and in the case of Cu-ZSM-5, to be a mono-μ-oxo-dicop­per com­plex ([Cu—O—Cu]2+) 4. Although a cor­re­la­tion was found between the con­cen­tra­tion of mono-μ-oxo-dicop­per species and the amount of methanol pro­duced by Cu-ZSM-5 5, no such cor­re­la­tion was found for oth­er zeo­lites that pro­duce methanol such as Cu-mor­den­ite and Cu-fer­rierite 2. We have recent­ly showed methanol pro­duc­tion on cop­per (II) exchanged small pore zeo­lites includ­ing SSZ-13 (CHA), SSZ-16 (AFX) and SSZ-39 (AEI) with yields as high as 39 μmol CH3OH/g and CH3OH/Cu ratios up to 0.09 (the largest report­ed to date).6 Here, cop­per species in these small pore zeo­lites were inves­ti­gat­ed with UV–vis and Raman spec­troscopy after O2-treat­ment at a tem­per­a­ture of 450 °C. No evi­dence of mono-μ-oxo-dicop­per species was found in the spec­tra of Cu-SSZ-13,Cu-SSZ-16 and Cu-SSZ-39 6, how­ev­er Cu—Oextralattice vibra­tions at 574 cm-1 were detect­ed in Raman spec­tra of Cu-SSZ-13 and Cu-SSZ-39 zeo­lites which is indica­tive of a dif­fer­ent Cux­Oy active species respon­si­ble for methanol pro­duc­tion in small pore zeo­lites.

1. Han­son, R. S.; Han­son, T. E., Methan­otroph­ic Bac­te­ria. Micro­bi­o­log­i­cal Reviews
1996, 60, 439–471.
2. Smeets, P. J.; Groothaert, M. H.; Schoonhey­dt, R. A., Cu based zeo­lites: A UV–vis
study of the active site in the selec­tive methane oxi­da­tion at low tem­per­a­tures.
Catal. Today 2005, 110 (3–4), 303–309.
3. Groothaert, M. H.; Smeets, P. J.; Sels, B. F.; Jacobs, P. A.; Schoonhey­dt, R. A.,
Selec­tive Oxi­da­tion of Methane by the Bis(mu-oxo)dicopper Core Sta­bi­lized on
ZSM-5 and Mor­den­ite Zeo­lites. Jour­nal of Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety 2005, 127,
4. Woertink, J. S.; Smeets, P. J.; Groothaert, M. H.; Vance, M. A.; Sels, B. F.;
Schoonhey­dt, R. A.; Solomon, E. I., A [Cu2O]2+ core in Cu-ZSM-5, the active site in
the oxi­da­tion of methane to methanol. Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of
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Bridging Heterogeneous Catalysis and Electro-catalysis: Catalytic Reactions Involving Oxygen

Meeting Program — February 2015

Dr. Umit S. Ozkan
Depart­ment of Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing
The Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty

Umit Ozkan
Cat­alyt­ic reac­tions that involve oxy­gen can be found in a large num­ber of process­es, includ­ing those in ener­gy-relat­ed appli­ca­tions, in emis­sion con­trol and in process­es impor­tant for the chem­i­cal indus­try. Whether the cat­alyt­ic reac­tion is an oxy­gen inser­tion step as in a selec­tive oxi­da­tion reac­tion, or an oxy­gen removal step as in a hydrodeoxy­gena­tion reac­tion, oxy­gen has proven to be a very chal­leng­ing com­po­nent, often deter­min­ing the selec­tiv­i­ty of the reac­tion. Some exam­ples from our lab­o­ra­to­ries that bridge catal­y­sis and elec­tro-catal­y­sis will be dis­cussed, rang­ing from oxida­tive dehy­dro­gena­tion of alka­nes to oxy­gen reduc­tion reac­tion in fuel cells.

Challenges and Advances in Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass using Zeolites

Meeting Program — January 2015

Dr. Julia Val­la
Chem­i­cal and Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing Depart­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Con­necti­cut, Storrs, CT

Ther­mo­chem­i­cal con­ver­sion of bio­mass to ener­gy, fuels and chem­i­cals is an attrac­tive tech­nol­o­gy for the tran­si­tion from fos­sil resources to a renew­able-based econ­o­my. Cat­alyt­ic Fast Pyrol­y­sis (CFP) of bio­mass is a par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ing tech­nol­o­gy for bio­mass con­ver­sion con­sid­er­ing the already exten­sive infra­struc­ture for hydro­car­bons pro­duc­tion. How­ev­er, many chal­lenges remain unsolved before the deploy­ment of the bio­mass CFP can be real­ized, includ­ing: a) char and coke for­ma­tion, which caus­es rapid cat­a­lyst deac­ti­va­tion; and b) high oxy­gen con­tent in the bio-oil, which makes it incom­pat­i­ble with today’s hydro­car­bon fuels. With respect to the first chal­lenge, it is imper­a­tive to first under­stand the ori­gin and the for­ma­tion of char and coke dur­ing CFP. Con­sid­er­ing the sec­ond chal­lenge, it is impor­tant to under­stand which cat­a­lyst prop­er­ties can enhance the deoxy­gena­tion reac­tions and increase the bio-oil selec­tiv­i­ty to hydro­car­bons. ZSM-5 zeo­lites have been rec­og­nized as one of the most promis­ing zeo­lites for CFP due to their shape selec­tiv­i­ty and their deoxy­gena­tion abil­i­ty. How­ev­er, their micro­p­ore struc­ture can lim­it the acces­si­bil­i­ty of heavy com­pounds to the active sites of their frame­work. Mod­i­fy­ing the zeo­lite pore archi­tec­ture to cre­ate hier­ar­chi­cal struc­tures could pro­vide a solu­tion to this chal­lenge. Fur­ther­more, the CFP process design itself (in situ or ex situ) can alter the prod­uct yield and selec­tiv­i­ty and, thus, the bio-oil qual­i­ty. Dur­ing this pre­sen­ta­tion we will dis­cuss how the zeo­lite prop­er­ties and loca­tion with­in the CFP process (in situ or ex situ) can affect the coke/char for­ma­tion and the deoxy­gena­tion reac­tions for enhanced bio-oil qual­i­ty.
Julia Valla
Iou­lia (Julia) Val­la is an Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor in the Chem­i­cal & Bio­mol­e­c­u­lar Engi­neer­ing Depart­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Con­necti­cut. She received her PhD in the field of the devel­op­ment of new zeo­lites for the decom­po­si­tion of sul­fur com­pounds in naph­tha and the pro­duc­tion of envi­ron­men­tal gaso­line from the Aris­to­tle Uni­ver­si­ty of Thes­sa­loni­ki in Greece. She has served in a lead­er­ship role with Rive Tech­nol­o­gy, Inc. on the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of a nov­el zeo­lite with ordered meso­porous struc­ture for refin­ery appli­ca­tions. Dr. Valla’s research focus­es on the mod­i­fi­ca­tion of zeo­lites struc­ture and their appli­ca­tion in catal­y­sis, adsorp­tion and ener­gy. She is the author/­co-author of 9 papers in peer-reviewed jour­nals, 1 book chap­ter and 2 patents. Dr. Val­la is the recip­i­ent of the Euro­pean Award “RUCADI, Recov­ery and Uti­liza­tion of Car­bon Diox­ide” for her study on the role of CO2 on the reform­ing of nat­ur­al gas for the pro­duc­tion of methanol. At the Uni­ver­si­ty of Con­necti­cut, Dr. Val­la received an award spon­sored by the Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion for the study “Turn­ing Tars into Ener­gy: Zeo­lites with Hier­ar­chi­cal Pore Struc­ture for the Cat­alyt­ic Removal of Tars”. The study is focused on a nov­el appli­ca­tion of hier­ar­chi­cal­ly struc­tured meso­porous bifunc­tion­al cat­a­lysts for the ther­mo­chem­i­cal upgrad­ing of unde­sir­able tars from bio­mass pyrol­y­sis or gasi­fi­ca­tion to valu­able hydro­car­bons.

Call for Nominations of the 2015 Catalysis Club of Philadelphia Award

Each year the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia rec­og­nizes an out­stand­ing mem­ber of the catal­y­sis com­mu­ni­ty, who has made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to the advance­ment of Catal­y­sis. Such advance­ment can be sci­en­tif­ic, tech­no­log­i­cal, or in orga­ni­za­tion lead­er­ship. The Award con­sists of a plaque and a $1,000 cash prize.

We appre­ci­ate your help in sub­mit­ting nom­i­na­tions. The entire nom­i­na­tion pack­age, includ­ing a resume and rec­om­men­da­tion let­ters, should not be more than 10 pages and should include a ½ page ten­ta­tive award announce­ment. The dead­line for the receipt of nom­i­na­tions is Tues­day, March 31, 2015. Pri­or nom­i­na­tion pack­ages sent in 2013 or lat­er will auto­mat­i­cal­ly be con­sid­ered for the 2015 Award.

Nom­i­na­tion let­ters along with sup­port­ing mate­ri­als should be emailed to carl.​menning@​dupont.​com.
Carl Men­ning
Exper­i­men­tal Sta­tion, 328/306B
200 Pow­der Mill Rd.
Wilm­ing­ton, DE 19803
Pre­vi­ous Win­ners of the Award

1968 Adal­bert Farkas
1969 Charles J. Plank
1970 Paul H. Emmett
1971 G. Alex Mills
1972 Alfred E. Hirschler
1973 Paul B. Weisz
1974 Roland C. Hans­ford
1975 Paul Venu­to
1976 Heinz Heine­mann
1977 G.C.A. Schuit
1978 George W. Par­shall
1979 Alvin B. Stiles
1980 Abra­ham Schnei­der
1981 James F. Roth
1982 Robert Eis­chens
1983 Edward Rosin­s­ki
1984 James R. Katzer
1985 N.Y. Chen
1986 Bruce C. Gates
1987 James E. Lyons
1988 George Koko­tai­lo
1989 Mau­rice Mitchell, Jr.
1990 Wern­er O. Haag
1991 John A. Sofranko
1992 Fran Waller
1993 George Kerr
1994 Theodore A. Koch
1995 John N. Armor
1996 Mae Rubin
1997 Leo E. Manz­er
1998 Ray Gorte
1999 Anne M. Gaffney
2000 Hen­ry C. Foley
2001 Mark Barteau
2002 Steven D. Ittel
2003 Frank E. Herkes
2004 Jing­guang Chen
2005 Israel Wachs
2006 James Dumesic
2007 John Vohs
2008 David Olson
2009 Ted Oya­ma
2010 Chuck Coe
2011 Chun­shan Song
2012 Ros­tam Madon
2013 Daniel Resas­co
2014 Haiy­ing Chen
2015 Sourav Sen­gup­ta
2016 Dion Vla­chos
2017 Thomas Cola­cot
2018 Car­mo Pereira