ICIQ Seminar by Prof. Susannah Scott
University of California, Santa Barbara (USA)
Chemical transformations of non-volatile biomass and waste plastic catalyzed by high surface area materials are strongly influenced by partitioning of solvents, reactants, and products between the bulk liquid phase and the surface or pore volume. The relative affinities of the reacting molecules for the solution phase vs. the surface give rise to non-monotonic activity and selectivity trends, as well as changes in mechanism for acid/base-catalyzed isomerizations and metal-catalyzed hydrogenations. This lecture will describe recent advances in methods for studying these effects at the molecular level by probing the molecular composition of the solid-liquid interface, while simultaneously observing the kinetics of catalytic reactions that lead to upgrading of carbon-based molecules.