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  English.dicp.cas.cn    Posted:2017-09-19
Lecture: Designing Supported Bimetallic Catalysts for A Green and Sustainable Future

Time: September 19th, 2017, 14:00-15:00

Venue: Conference Room on First Floor in No.1 Energy Building

Lecturer: Dr. Sankar Meenakshisundaram


Supported bimetallic nanoalloy catalysts have played a significant role in catalysis. The catalytic properties of these bimetallic catalysts are significantly different from their monometallic analogues because of what is often termed as “synergistic” effects between the two metals. A number of bimetallic catalysts have been reported for a range of reactions including oxidation, hydrogenation, hydrogenolysis, and reforming reactions. Three main structural parameters; (a) size, (b) composition and (c) nanostructure have been identified as crucial parameters, that affect the activity of the catalysts. Synthesis of these supported nanoalloy catalysts, with precise structural control, is complex because of the presence of the second metal. I will present how we designed a catalyst synthesis methodology where we could precisely control these parameters by running a synthesis-structure-activity loop. To demonstrate this, 1%AuPd/TiO2 catalyst, prepared by conventional wet impregnation (CIm), sol immobilization (SIm) and modified impregnation (MIm) methods, were tested for the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide from molecular hydrogen and oxygen. These catalysts were characterized by aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope for the structural and chemical analyses. Based on the results, a structure-activity correlation was established. In another example, these supported gold-palladium catalysts were tested for the solvent-free aerobic oxidation of benzyl alcohol. During this reaction, just by changing the support of the catalyst, the disproportionation of benzyl alcohol, responsible for the production of toluene, is completely switched off to achieve very high selectivity for benzaldehyde. Finally an example on the use of supported bimetallic catalysts for the hydrogenation of levulinic acid to gamma-valerolactone will be presented.


Dr. Sankar studied for his PhD (2002–2007) under the topic “Synthesis of organic carbonates using CO2: an environmentally benign route” at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, India. From 2007 to 2011 he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute with Prof. Graham J. Hutchings FRS in the area of “Designing gold based bimetallic catalysts for selective oxidation reactions”. Then he moved to Utrecht University (2011 – 2013) as a Marie Curie Intra European (IEF) Research Fellow with Prof. Bert M. Weckhuysen and worked under the topic “Designing bifunctional nanoalloy catalysts for biomass valorisation”. In 2014, he was awarded the University Research Fellowship by Cardiff University and since then he has been leading a research group focused on “Developing Catalysts for a Green and Sustainable Future”.

His themes focus on CO2 utilisation, biomass conversion, selective oxidation using O2 or H2O2 and in situ spectroscopic studies. He has (co) authored 40 articles and 2 book chapters and a (co) inventor in 2 international patents. He collaborates widely, both nationally and internationally with a number of research groups and research institutes.

Contact: ZHAO Xiaochen, 1502 Group
Phone: 84379416



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