Dr. Wenyu Huang, ISU
I will discuss the research focuses in my group on the design, synthesis, and characterization of well-defined nanostructures, as well as the study of their properties in heterogeneous catalysis. Our long-term goals are: (1) advancing our understanding of the structure-catalytic property relationships that will guide future catalyst design to achieve efficient chemical transformations, and (2) developing novel, economical, and environmentally friendly catalytic processes to address the pressing needs of the society in producing chemicals and energy (e.g., upcycling of waste plastics). We are currently exploring three well-defined catalyst systems, targeting questions relevant to catalysis at the atomic-, nano-, and meso-length scales. These focus areas are specially designed to advance the complicated heterogeneous catalysis science in terms of active site control (atomic level), reaction environment control (nanometer), and molecule transport control (mesoscale). Understanding and ultimately controlling active sites, reaction environments, and molecular transport are the three essential targets for heterogeneous catalysis science. Our research aligns with the priority research directions (PRDs) identified by the U.S. Department of Energy in the most recent report on catalysis science (Basic Research Needs for Catalysis Science).