Cain Department of Chemical Engineering SEMINAR


“Heterogeneous Catalyst Design Principles for Clean Water Applications”

Michael S. Wong, Ph.D.
Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment
Rice University, Houston, TX


One of the central tenets in the field of heterogeneous catalysis is the surface catalytic properties of a material are controlled by its nanostructure. By understanding the structure-property connection at increasingly fine detail, one can create materials to improve our understanding of chemical reactions at the molecular level, and to imbue them with enhanced catalytic performance (i.e., the three S's of speed, selectivity and stability). Through a synthesis-structure-property approach, recalcitrant contaminants of water can be degraded or even upgraded successfully. To illustrate the developments in this growing genre of heterogeneous catalysis, I discuss several clean-water reaction systems from established and new work from my research program: (1) hydrodechlorination of chlorinated volatible organic compounds using Pd-core/Au-sub-shell nanostructures and (2) nitrate reduction using In-on-Pd nanoshapes. These learnings provide insights into chemical transformations of other contaminant classes; the design of treatment units; and the "catalyzation" of traditional water-treatment materials.


Friday October 6, 2017
1221 Patrick Taylor Hall
Coffee will be served at 1:30pm