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Design of Catalysts and Electrocatalysts for Energy Applications

  • Date
    Mon, Oct 21

    2:00 PM — 3:15 PM

    Steinman Hall
    Steinman Hall 160 - Lecture Hall

    Steinman Hall, 160 - Lecture Hall

    p: 212.650.5748


  • Event Details

    The ChE Department would like to welcome Professor Jingguang Chen from Columbia University

    In the current talk we will use two examples to demonstrate the importance of using surface science studies to identify catalysts and electrocatalysts.  Our research approaches involve parallel efforts in density functional theory (DFT) calculations, surface science experiments on model systems, and synthesis and evaluation of supported catalysts under thermochemical or electrochemical conditions.  We will first use water electrolysis to demonstrate the feasibility of using monolayer Pt on tungsten carbide (WC) to achieve the same activity as bulk Pt.  We will present DFT calculations of similar electronic and chemical properties between monolayer Pt/WC and Pt, synthesis and characterization of monolayer Pt/WC films, and electrochemical evaluation of the activity and stability of Pt/WC for water electrolysis.  Comparing to the leading Pt electrocatalyst, the monolayer Pt/WC represents a reduction by a factor of ten in Pt loading.

    We will then use the conversion of biomass-derived oxygenates to illustrate the advantages of using bimetallic catalysts.  Bimetallic catalysts often show unique activity and selectivity over their parent metals due to the electronic modification and strain effect.  We will present our results on the characterization of Ni/Pt bimetallic surfaces and catalysts under in-situ reaction conditions, further highlighting the importance of using the combined approaches of DFT calculations, surface science experiments, and reactor evaluations.

    Jingguang Chen is the Thayer Lindsley Professor of chemical engineering at Columbia University.  He received his PhD degree from the University of Pittsburgh and performed his Humboldt postdoctoral research in Germany.   After spending several years as a staff scientist at Exxon Corporate Research he started his academic career at the University of Delaware, serving as the director of the Center for Catalytic Science and Technology and the Claire LeClaire Professor of chemical engineering.  He moved to Columbia University in 2012. He has authored over 260 journal articles and 20 US patents.