PNNL Lecture Series: CO2-Assisted Activation and Upgrading of Light Alkanes

November 20, 2020

PNNL Lecture Series: CO2-Assisted Activation and Upgrading of Light Alkanes

The Institute for Integrated Catalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is organizing a series of six lectures with the focus on understanding and advancing catalytic chemistry for the upcycling of plastics. This critical area has become one of the fastest-growing branches in catalytic research.

In this series, we will focus on a broad range of chemistries that will include activation of carbon-carbon, carbon-hydrogen, and carbon-heteroatoms bonds relevant to plastic deconstruction, and on the prospects for the synthesis of renewable, biodegradable plastics. The goal is to stimulate discussion among catalysis experts with different expertise and to broaden our community's understanding of scientific challenges associated with the upcycling of plastics.

We have an outstanding lineup of speakers who will outline their scientific strategy, present their research, and set their work into the broader context of this critical area. Each lecture (approximately 45 minutes) will be followed by an extended discussion (up to 30 minutes) to allow ample time for questions and to stimulate dialog among the participants. The planned timeframe for the lectures is from October 20 through November 23, 2020, with one lecture per week.

In this webinar, Jingguang Chen, Department Chair and Thayer Lindsley Professor of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University, New York City, will discuss recent efforts in using CO2 as a soft oxidant to activate light alkanes such as ethane and propane. Using a combination of kinetic studies, in situ characterization and DFT calculations, Chen will discuss how his group has identified several classes of selective catalysts that can break the C-C bonds to produce synthesis gas or the C-H bonds to produce olefins. He will also demonstrate the feasibility to further upgrade the syngas/olefin product mixture to value-added oxygenates and aromatics using cascade reactions and tandem reactors.

Looking ahead:

November 23: Carbo-chemicals in the Circular Economy