Author Archives: Vlad Nikolakis

How can the modern scanning transmission electron microscope aid catalysis science?

Novem­ber 2018
Prof. Eric A. Stach
Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia
E-mail: stach@​seas.​upenn.​edu, Web:
Abstract: The past decade or so have seen a num­ber of tech­no­log­i­cal advances in the field of trans­mis­sion elec­tron microscopy that have dra­mat­i­cal­ly enhanced both the util­i­ty and uti­liza­tion of the instru­ment in the field of het­ero­ge­neous catal­y­sis. These include aber­ra­tion cor­rec­tion, enhanced detec­tors and improve­ments in sim­u­la­tion and analy­sis soft­ware. In this pre­sen­ta­tion, I will present sev­er­al spe­cif­ic exam­ples from both my own research and from oth­ers in the field to pro­vide a gen­er­al overview of the state of the art. In spe­cif­ic, I will describe the lim­its of spa­tial, spec­tro­scop­ic and tem­po­ral ener­gy res­o­lu­tion, and demon­strate how one can per­form both real time and operan­do mea­sure­ments do char­ac­ter­ize the inter­re­la­tion­ships between cat­a­lyst struc­ture and cat­a­lyst func­tion. Through the pre­sen­ta­tion, I will empha­size how these tech­niques are being imple­ment­ed at the Singh Cen­ter for Nan­otech­nol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia and how they are thus acces­si­ble to mem­bers of the Cat­a­lyst Club of Philadel­phia.

Ultra-Deep Diesel Hydrodesulfurization Catalysis and Process: A Tale of Two Sites

Octo­ber 2018 — F.G. Cia­pet­ta Award Lec­ture

Dr. Teh C. Ho
Hydro­car­bon Con­ver­sion Tech­nolo­gies
E-mail: , Web:
Abstract: Hydrodesul­fu­r­iza­tion cat­a­lysts have two types of active sites for hydro­gena­tion and hydrogenol­y­sis reac­tions. While hydro­gena­tion sites are more active for desul­fu­r­iz­ing refrac­to­ry sul­fur species, they are more vul­ner­a­ble to organon­i­tro­gen inhi­bi­tion than hydrogenol­y­sis sites. In con­trast, hydrogenol­y­sis sites are less active for desul­fu­r­iz­ing refrac­to­ry sul­fur species but are more resis­tant to organon­i­tro­gen inhi­bi­tion. This dichoto­my is exploit­ed to devel­op an ultra-deep hydrodesul­fu­r­iza­tion stacked-bed reac­tor com­pris­ing two cat­a­lysts of dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter­is­tics. The per­for­mance of this cat­a­lyst sys­tem can be supe­ri­or or infe­ri­or to that of either cat­a­lyst alone. A the­o­ry is devel­oped to pre­dict the opti­mum stack­ing con­fig­u­ra­tion for max­i­mum syn­er­gies between the two cat­a­lysts. The best con­fig­u­ra­tion pro­vides the pre­cise envi­ron­ment for the cat­a­lysts to reach their full poten­tials, result­ing in the small­est reac­tor vol­ume and max­i­mum ener­gy sav­ing. Mod­el pre­dic­tions are con­sis­tent with exper­i­men­tal results. A selec­tiv­i­ty-activ­i­ty dia­gram is devel­oped for guid­ing the devel­op­ment of stacked-bed cat­a­lyst sys­tems.

Catalysis by Pincer-Iridium Complexes. Breaking C-H Bonds, Making C-C Bonds, and Various Combinations Thereof

Sep­tem­ber 2018

Pro­fes­sor Alan S. Gold­man
Depart­ment of Chem­istry and Chem­i­cal Biol­o­gy, Rut­gers — The State Uni­ver­si­ty of New Jer­sey
E-mail: alan.​goldman@​rutgers.​edu, Web: http://​ccb​.rut​gers​.edu/​g​o​l​d​m​a​n​-​a​lan
Abstract: Irid­i­um com­plex­es have played a lead­ing role in the organometal­lic chem­istry of
alka­nes and unre­ac­tive C-H bonds since the incep­tion of the field 30 years ago. We have found
that “PCP”-pincer-ligated irid­i­um com­plex­es are par­tic­u­lar­ly effec­tive for the dehy­dro­gena­tion of
alka­nes and have incor­po­rat­ed this reac­tion into tan­dem sys­tems for sev­er­al cat­alyt­ic
trans­for­ma­tions based on dehy­dro­gena­tion. A close­ly relat­ed class of reac­tions that we are
explor­ing is dehy­dro­gena­tive cou­pling. More recent­ly we have turned atten­tion to irid­i­um
Phe­box com­plex­es. Although the (PCP)Ir and (Phebox)Ir units are for­mal­ly iso­elec­tron­ic, the
for­mer oper­ates via C-H acti­va­tion by Ir(I) while the lat­ter effects dehy­dro­gena­tion via Ir(III) (as
an acetate com­plex) and pos­si­bly Ir(V) inter­me­di­ates. Such a high-oxi­da­tion-state cat­alyt­ic cycle
offers advan­tages for many poten­tial appli­ca­tions of dehy­dro­gena­tion. In par­al­lel, how­ev­er, we
find that the low-oxi­da­tion-state (+I) chem­istry of (Phebox)Ir offers its own nov­el hydro­car­bon
1. Gao, Y.; Guan, C.; Zhou, M.; Kumar, A.; Emge, T. J.; Wright, A. M.; Gold­berg, K. I.; Krogh-Jes­persen, K.; Gold­man, A. S. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017,
139, 6338–6350.
2. Wilk­low-Mar­nell, M.; Li, B.; Zhou, T.; Krogh-Jes­persen, K.; Bren­nes­sel, W. W.; Emge, T. J.; Gold­man, A. S.; Jones, W. D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017,
139, 8977–8989.
3. Gold­berg, K. I.; Gold­man, A. S. Acc. Chem. Res. 2017, 50, 620–626.
4. Kumar, A.; Bhat­ti, T. M.; Gold­man, A. S. Chem. Rev. 2017, 117, 12357–12384.
5. Gao, Y.; Emge, T. J.; Krogh-Jes­persen, K.; Gold­man, A. S. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 2260–2264.

Welcome Announcement for the 2018–2019 Season

Dear Col­leagues,
It is my dis­tinct plea­sure to wel­come all of you to the 2018–19 sea­son of the Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia on behalf of the Club’s Offi­cers. The Club’s pro­gram will kick off this year with a pre­sen­ta­tion by Prof. Alan Gold­man on Sep­tem­ber 27th, 2018. Due to the avail­abil­i­ty of our Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia Award Recip­i­ent, Dr. Car­mo Pereira, the CCP Award lec­ture will be giv­en on Jan­u­ary 17th, 2019. The speak­er sched­ule for the 2018–19 sea­son (put togeth­er under the coor­di­na­tion of Srini­vas Ran­gara­jan from Lehigh Uni­ver­si­ty), along with the spe­cial events, is list­ed below. We hope that you’ll join us and that you’ll enjoy the planned talks!

Date Speak­er Spe­cial Event
Sept. 27, 2018 Prof. Alan S. Gold­man (Rut­gers Un.) Sea­son Kick-off
Oct. 11, 2018 Dr. Teh C. Ho (Exxon­Mo­bil) Cia­pet­ta Award Win­ner
Nov. 15, 2018 Prof. Eric A. Stach (Un. of Penn­syl­va­nia) Stu­dent Poster Com­pe­ti­tion
Jan. 17, 2019 Dr. Car­mo J. Pereira (DuPont) CCP Award Lec­ture
Feb. 21, 2019 Prof. Dr. Johannes A. Lercher (TU München, PNNL) Offi­cer Nom­i­na­tions
March 21, 2019 Prof. Eric D. Wachs­man (Un. of Mary­land) Offi­cer Nom­i­na­tions
April 18, 2019 Prof. William F. Schnei­der (Un. of Notre Dame) Offi­cer Elec­tions
May 2019 CCP Spring Sym­po­sium

The month­ly meet­ing loca­tion will remain the same and will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Clay­mont, DE (630 Naa­mans Road, Clay­mont, DE 19703). In order to off­set ris­ing cater­ing costs, meet­ing fees have increased to $40.00 for mem­bers, $25.00 for students/retirees, and will include one drink dur­ing the social hour. The fees for walk-ins and non-mem­bers will be $45.00. We strong­ly encour­age you to reg­is­ter for the meet­ing using the online reg­is­tra­tion form, a link to which is pro­vid­ed in each meet­ing announce­ment email.
Reser­va­tions can also be made by con­tact­ing our Trea­sur­er (Lifeng.​Wang@​pqcorp.​com) or Chair (Eric.​R.​Sacia@​dupont.​com) direct­ly. Dues for the 2018–19 sea­son will remain at $25.00 ($5.00 for the local club and $20.00 to the nation­al club). Dues for stu­dents, post­docs and retirees will be $10.00 ($5.00 for the local club and $5.00 to the nation­al club).
Our annu­al stu­dent poster com­pe­ti­tion (orga­nized by Nick McNa­ma­ra of John­son Matthey) will be held on Novem­ber 15th, 2018. It pro­vides an impor­tant forum for local stu­dents to dis­sem­i­nate their work and inter­act with fel­low sci­en­tists from indus­try and acad­e­mia. Fur­ther­more, select­ed stu­dents from local uni­ver­si­ties will also be giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pro­vide a brief pre­sen­ta­tion of their work at cer­tain meet­ings.
Feel free to con­tact either myself or the oth­er offi­cers with any com­ments or ques­tions, and keep check­ing our web­site peri­od­i­cal­ly (www​.catal​y​sis​clubphilly​.org) for news or updates. Look­ing for­ward to see­ing all of you this sea­son!

All the best,
Eric Sacia
Catal­y­sis Club of Philadel­phia Chair

2017–2018 Meeting Program

Thurs­day, Sept. 14th, 2017Thomas ColacotStruc­ture Activ­i­ty Rela­tion­ships in Homo­ge­neous Catal­y­sis
Thomas Cola­cot, John­son Matthey — 2017 CCP Award Win­ner
Abstract »

Thurs­day, Oct. 19th, 2017Jingguang ChenCon­vert­ing CO2 via Ther­mo­catal­y­sis and Elec­tro­catal­y­sis
Jing­guang Chen, Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty
Abstract »

Stu­dent Speak­er
Olefin Metathe­sis by Sup­port­ed MoOx/Al2O3 Cat­a­lysts
Anisha Chakrabar­ti — Lehigh Uni­ver­si­ty
Abstract »
Thurs­day, Nov. 16th, 2017Aleksey YezeretsKinet­ic Pecu­liar­i­ties of Cu-Zeo­lite SCR Cat­a­lysts, and Their Prac­ti­cal Impli­ca­tions
Alek­sey Yez­erets, Cum­mins
Abstract »
Thurs­day, Jan. 25th, 2018Jing LuSiliceous Zeo­lite-sup­port­ed Pal­la­di­um Cat­a­lysts for Methane Oxi­da­tion
Jing Lu, John­son Matthey
Abstract »

Stu­dent Speak­er
Chen-Yu Chou — Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware
Thurs­day, Feb. 22nd, 2018Doug ButtreyRemem­ber­ing Robert K. Gras­sel­li: Reflec­tions on Three Decades of Col­lab­o­ra­tion on Com­plex Oxides for Selec­tive Oxi­da­tion
Dou­glas But­trey, Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware
Abstract »

Stu­dent Speak­er
Improved methane reform­ing activ­i­ty and cok­ing resis­tance of self-regen­er­at­ing Ni cat­a­lyst by Atom­ic Lay­er Depo­si­tion
Chao Lin — Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia
Abstract »
Thurs­day, Mar. 22nd, 2018Manuel Moliner
Syn­the­sis of Nano­sized Zeo­lites For Dif­fer­ent Cat­alyt­ic Appli­ca­tions

Manuel Molin­er, ITQ
Abstract »

Stu­dent Speak­er
Mor­pho­log­i­cal Insta­bil­i­ty in Topo­log­i­cal­ly Com­plex, Three-Dimen­sion­al Elec­tro­cat­alyt­ic Nanos­truc­tures
Yawei Li — Drex­el Uni­ver­si­ty
Abstract »
Offi­cer Nom­i­na­tions
Thurs­day, Apr. 26th, 2018Johannes W. SchwankNov­el cat­a­lyst archi­tec­tures for auto­mo­tive emis­sion con­trol
Johannes Schwank, Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan
Abstract »

Stu­dent Speak­er
Spec­tro­scop­ic Tech­nique Devel­op­ment for Under­stand­ing Sol­vent Effects in Liq­uid Phase Reac­tions
Nick Gould — Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware
Abstract »
Offi­cer Elec­tions
May 2018Spring Sym­po­sium
Online Din­ner Reser­va­tion » | Direc­tions to Dou­ble Tree Hotel »

2017–2018 Officers

2017–2018 Officers


Josh Pacheco
Zeolyst Inter­na­tional
Past Chair
Anton Petushkov
Zeolyst Inter­na­tional
Eric Sacia
Lifeng Wang
Zeolyst Inter­na­tion­al
Dan Slanac
Pro­gram Chair
Jim Hugh­es
Zeolyst Inter­na­tion­al
Arrange­ments Chair
Paul Pepin
Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia
Direc­tor Mem­ber­ship
Donghua Zuo
Direc­tor Poster Ses­sion
Thomas Yeh
John­son Matthey
Direc­tor Spon­sor­ship
Sourav Sen­gup­ta
Carl Men­ning
Sen­try Data Sys­tems
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to NACS
Dion Vla­chos
Uni­ver­si­ty of Delaware