OIST Mini Symposium on Nanocatalysis for Energy and Environmental Applications (MSNEEA)


Tuesday, February 10, 2015 (All day) to Thursday, February 12, 2015 (All day)


OIST Main Campus, Seminar Room C210



Nanocatalysis is a phenomenon of significant fundamental research and important practical applications in a variety of fields such as chemistry, physics, and materials, environmental and atmospheric sciences in addition to its traditional significance in advancing the petroleum field. It encompasses supported or unsupported nm-scale metal catalytic structures (nanoparticles) where the catalytic phenomena are specific to that length scale and, in general, are related to the high surface area and the density of the unsaturated surface coordination sites of the nano catalysts. The origins of enhancements in activity and selectivity can be explained by dispersion factors or by quantum factors unique to this special length scale. Various factors identified include the emergence of electronic and/or atom-packing shell structures, along with fundamentally altered interactions with the support.

Nanoparticles can play major roles for the production and storage of clean energy sources. Rapid advances in nanomaterials science led to the synthesis of monodispersed metal and bimetallic nanocatalysts with controlled shapes in the 1-10 nm size range. Both the activity and selectivity of most hydrocarbon conversion reactions that are important in petrochemical technologies are strongly dependent on the nanoparticle sizes and shapes, and exhibit superior resistivity to deactivation. Metal core – inorganic shell nanostructures provide thermal stability for high temperature catalytic processes such as reforming and combustion. Nanocatalysis promises to be a major shift in catalyst-based petrochemical and synthetic fuel (gas to liquid) technologies.


Sami El-Shall, Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Chemistry
Riccardo Ferrando, Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università di Genova
Xinhe Bao, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)"
Ted Oyama, University of Tokyo
Hiromitsu Takaba, Kougakuin University
Beatriz Roldan Cuenya, Ruhr-University Bochum
Graham Hutchings, Cardiff University
Panagiotis Grammatikopoulos, OIST
Mukhles Sowwan, OIST
(This list is subject to change. Thank you in advance for your understanding.)

Topics covered by this symposium 
  1. Fundamentals of Surface Reactions and Understanding the Reaction Mechanisms at the Molecular Level 
    This lecture will cover the fundamental relationships between the structure and composition of heterogeneous catalysts and their performance. The study of reaction mechanisms and the identification of factors limiting the activity and selectivity of catalysts will also be addressed. The overall goal is to understand the mechanisms of surface reactions at the molecular level.
  2. Theoretical and Simulation Techniques 
    This lecture will focus on modeling the kinetics and calculating kinetic parameters by first-principle methods that complement the experimental efforts. Quantum chemical calculations will be presented to define the structure and energetics of adsorbed species and the pathways by which such species are transformed. The combined lectures on theory and experimental methods will enable researchers to attain deeper understanding of the core issues in nanocatalysis that cannot be achieved by the use of either approach alone. 
  3. Surface-Sensitive & Spectroscopic Techniques
    This lecture will introduce a large combination of surface-sensitive techniques, including thermal programmed desorption (TPD), static secondary ion mass (SSIMS), ion scattering (ISS), metastable impact electron spectroscopy (MIES), high resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS), low energy electron diffraction (LEED), Auger electron (AES) spectroscopies in conjunction with molecular beams and high pressure cells, and scanning probe microscopies (STM and AFM). This lecture will also cover a wide range of spectroscopic techniques including infrared (IR), UV and X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (UPS and XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (IRAS), X-ray absorption for analysis of redox processes in catalysts, and soft x-ray photoemission for analysis of surface chemisorbates.
  4. Synthesis Methods
    This lecture will cover several methods based on physical and chemical approaches for the synthesis of controlled size and shape of nanostructures including nanoalloys. Examples of these approaches include ion beam and other sputtering techniques, laser ablation methods, solvothermal methods, microwave irradiation (MWI), and thermolysis of single-source precursor in ligating solvents.
  5. High Surface Area & Highly Porous Materials 
    Mesoporous materials are characterized by large internal surface areas and narrow pore size distributions with ordered structures that the pores can be engineered with variable diameters from 1.5 – 10 nm. These materials are very attractive not only for selective catalysis, but also for applications in separations, novel sensors and selective adsorptions. Gas storage materials will also be studied due to their critical importance in hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell development as well as CO2 sequestration for the reduction in greenhouse gases associated with combustion processes.
  6. Nanostructured Catalysts for Hydrogen Production
    Hydrogen, a nonpolluting, inexhaustible, efficient, and cost-attractive energy carrier, is forecasted to become a major energy source in the future. This lecture will address the short-contact time catalytic partial oxidation of hydrocarbons for hydrogen production and the mildly exothermic catalytic partial oxidation of hydrocarbons to synthesis gas (H2 and CO) over noble metal catalysts.
  7. Nanocatalysis for Fuel Cell Applications
    Low temperature fuel cells, with hydrogen, ethanol or methanol as the fuel, provide an environmentally friendly alternative energy source to power the modern economy. One of the key objectives in fuel-cell technology is to improve the performance and reduce the cost of the Ptbased electrocatalysts used in fuel cells. This lecture will focus on the synthesis of bimetallic electrocatalysts and the role of graphene support in understanding the synthesis-structure-performance relationships to optimize their electrochemical performance in low temperature fuel cells.
  8. Nanocatalysis of Petrochemical Technologies
    Metal catalysts utilized in petroleum reforming are in the 0.8 – 10 nm size range supported on high surface area oxides. Both the activity and selectivity of most hydrocarbon conversion reactions that are important in petrochemical technologies are strongly dependent on the nanoparticle sizes and shapes, and exhibit superior resistivity to deactivation. This lecture will discuss results of nanocatalysis research and the molecular factors that underlie the nano size and shape selectivity of catalytic reactions, which are important for petrochemical technologies. The lecture will also address the conversion of well waste gases to value-added products for clean energy technology.
  9. Nanocatalysis for Environmental Applications
    Environmental pollution and contamination by various harmful gases is a serious problem that directly affects human health, and it can have significant impact on the technological and economic progress of society. Catalysis plays a major role in minimizing pollution. The goals of different applications of catalysts are to control or remove CO, NO, volatile organic contaminants (VOCs), automobile exhaust emission, byproducts of chemical production, and toxic organics in waste water. This lecture will focus on case studies of a number of important environmental catalytic problems including CO, NO, and other poisonous gases responsible for air pollution.

Please download the latest program here (PDF; as of 2015/2/4).
(This program is subject to change. Thank you in advance for your understanding.)

Sponsor or Contact: 
Nanoparticles by Design Unit (Mukhles Ibrahim Sowwan, Associate Professor)
All-OIST Category: 

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