Catalysis Club of Chicago

Member-North American Catalysis Society

Gold Catalysts for Hydrogen Purification: How Mechanistic Insights into CO and H2 Oxidation can Help Us Build Better Preferential Oxidation (PrOx) Catalysts

Monday, December 10, 2018

Prof. Bert Chandler

Greek Islands
300 E 22nd Street
Lombard, IL

Professor Bert Chandler
Department of Chemistry
Trinity University
San Antonio, TX


Supported gold nanoparticles are now well known to be the most active low temperature CO oxidation catalysts available. Gold is also a notoriously bad hydrogenation catalyst, so it ought to be ideal for PrOx; however, despite intense study over the last 15 years, there have been exceedingly few reports of successful PrOx catalysts. This seminar will focus on our efforts to develop kinetic tools to better understand supported gold catalysts, build mechanistic understanding of both the CO and H2 oxidation reactions, and our early successes with CO PrOx. We apply a number of mechanistic chemistry techniques, such as Hammett studies, kinetic isotope effects, and Michaelis-Menten kinetics, to better understand how support effects and water tune the chemistry of Au nanoparticle surfaces. These studies, combined with collaborative density functional theory calculations, have led us to a deeper understanding of O2 and H2 activation over Au and significant advances in CO PrOx catalysis.

Brief Bio

Bert Chandler earned a BS in Chemistry from Georgia Southern University (1994) and a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota (1999), working with Prof. Lou Pignolet. He went on to a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of South Carolina with Prof. Michael Amiridis. He began a faculty position at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, in 2001 and is currently Professor of Chemistry. He has served as the chair of the Southwest Catalysis Society, on the Board of Directors of the Organic Reactions Catalysis Society, and on the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. His long term research interests are in nanoparticle synthesis and properties, particularly for heterogeneous catalysis. This has especially included applying various physical organic chemistry techniques and Michaelis-Menten kinetics to understand changes in heterogeneous catalyst and nanoparticle properties.