Mellichamp Academic Initiative in Sustainability, presents: Well-Defined Catalysts for Hydrocarbon Transformations – Supported Single Atom and Zeolite Catalysis


Friday, March 2, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm


1605 Elings Hall


Chris Nicholas - Principal Scientist and Group Leader Electrochemistry, Materials and Catalysis Research, Honeywell UOP


Understanding the structure/property relationships of heterogeneous is often a difficult task. To that goal, we show examples from three well defined catalyst systems useful for conversion of hydrocarbon molecules. In the first two examples, we explore the use of supported organometallic reagents for the metathetic transformation of butenes to propene and the hydrogenation of arenes to cyclohexanes. In the first example, W-H/Al2O3 was utilized as a precatalyst to selectively produce propylene from various butene feeds. In the second example, we explore the use of supported organozirconium reagents for arene hydrogenation. Competitive hydrogenation of benzene/toluene mixtures shows selectivity varying with catalyst structure.

In the second section, another well-defined catalyst, the crystalline zeolite UZM-35 is utilized. Many of these UZM’s have been invented using the charge density mismatch approach to zeolite synthesis as the CDM approach often allows preparation of unique structures or morphologies. Recently, we have discovered the UZM-35 family of materials, of the MSE zeotype, via the CDM approach. The MSE framework contains a 12Membered Ring straight channel and two zig-zag 10MR channels. A key question throughout catalytic testing was whether the material would give behavior more reminiscent of 10MR (MFI) or 12MR (beta) channels or some mixture of the two and we explore the answer in an attempt to explain the reasons behind the varied behavior of materials containing both 10MR and 12MR channels.


Chris joined Honeywell UOP in 2006 after earning a Ph.D. at Northwestern University with Tobin Marks and working in the Hard Materials Center of Excellence at Sigma-Aldrich. He has worked throughout the Research departments at UOP, primarily focused on inventing and catalytically testing new materials and processes. Particular foci have included heterogeneous catalytic processes such as olefin oligomerization and alkylation, synthesis of inorganic materials (in particular metal oxides and zeolites), process engineering, molecular adsorption, and olefin metathesis. Chris is an inventor or co-inventor on more than 75 US and foreign patents and coauthor of 20+ peer-reviewed journal articles and a book chapter. Among other professional commitments, he has been involved with the Chicago Catalysis Club since graduate student days and has served as Director, Program Chair and President.

Sponsored by the Mellichamp Academic Initiative in Sustainability

Event Type: 

General Event