Share This

Hunting for Catalytic Active Sites: Fundamental Structure...

  • Date
    Mon, Sep 30

    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 Chemical Engineering Department would like to welcome Israel Wachs from Lehigh University

    Chemical engineers traditionally focus on catalytic reaction kinetics since kinetic expressions are needed to design chemical reactors and their operating conditions.  The catalytic reaction kinetics, in turn, depends on the nature of the catalytic active sites that control the reaction activity and selectivity. Although catalytic reaction kinetic expressions can be generated without knowledge of the nature of catalytic active sites, design of advanced catalysts with improved reactivity and selectivity characteristics requires molecular level knowledge of the catalytic active sites and their performance.  The overarching challenge for heterogeneous catalysis research in the early part of the 21st century is to determine the nature of the catalytic active sites that will allow for catalyst molecular engineering strategies to control the (i) number of catalytic active sites, (ii) reactivity per active site, (iii) reaction selectivity and (iv) reaction kinetics.  The development of advanced catalyst characterization techniques in recent year is beginning to allow monitoring catalytic active sites and surface reaction intermediates under real reaction conditions (high T and P) and providing fundamental structure-reactivity relationships for the molecular engineering of advanced heterogeneous catalysts.  Several examples from the speaker’s current research (olefin metathesis for meeting the current C3= shortage, conversion of CH4 to liquid aromatics, and selective oxidation for production of chemical intermediates and environmental protection) will be presented to highlight this modern approach to heterogeneous catalysis research.

    Israel E. Wachs received his undergraduate education at The City College of The City University of New York where he graduated with a B.E. (ChE) in June, 1973.  He received several recognitions upon graduation (AIChE Award for Outstanding Senior, Heller Memorial Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement, and White ChE Alumni Award).  He continued his graduate ChE education at Stanford University under the mentorship of Professor Robert J. Madix in the area of surface science, and graduated with a PhD (ChE) in 1978.  His research findings are considered the first application of surface science to catalysis, and his thesis publications are extensively cited in the surface science and catalysis literature.