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Zongyuan Liu

Zongyuan Liu

Research Associate

Chemistry Division
Building 555
Brookhaven National Laboratory
P.O. Box 5000
Upton, NY 11973-5000

Phone: (631) 344-4343
FAX:    (631) 344-5815

Catalysis: Reactivity and Structure

Research Interests

Catalysis and surface science: Research on heterogeneous catalytic reactions of oxygenate reforming (ethanol, methanol), water gas shift and methane activation by use of synchrotron and surface chemistry characterizations (XRD, AP-XPS, RIXS, XAFS, IRRAS, DRIFTS) of catalysts under in situ/operando conditions.


11/2016 - Present
Postdoctoral research associate, Chemistry division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, USA

08/2011- 08/2016
Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York, USA
  • Advisor: Prof. Jose A. Rodriguez.
  • Dissertation: “Fundamental studies of reforming reactions on the Ni-ceria system"
09/2007 – 06/2011
Bachelor of Engineering, College of Materials Science & Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai, China.
  • Advisor: Prof. Xuefen Wang.
  • Thesis: “Control of structure and morphology of highly aligned PLLA ultrafine fibers via linear-jet electrospinning”

Research and Professional Experience

Research Assistant: Stony Brook University/Brookhaven National Laboratory, under supervision of Prof. Jose A. Rodriguez.
  • Reforming reactions of ethanol/methanol/methane over a series of Ni-ceria based catalysts (Ni/CeO2, Ce1-xNixO2-y and NixWyCe2-x-yO2). Incipient wetness impregnation / reverse micro-emulsion synthesis method. Characterization: in situ XRD, XAFS, GC, Mass-spec, STEM and DRIFTS.
  • Mechanistic modeling study of reforming reaction on Ni-CeO2(111) surface in both UHV and Ambient-pressure conditions. Characterization: AP-XPS, IRRAS.
  • Collaborating XRD/XAFS studies of water gas shift, photocatalytic water splitting and CO oxidation reactions on materials such as Graphene-TiO2, Au/Cu-TiO2 and Cu-CeO2.
Teaching Assistant: Stony Brook University. Course: Chemical Instrumentation Lab (Active/passive circuits, amplifier, LabVIEW)
Teaching Assistant: Stony Brook University. Course: General Chemistry Lab (eg. Titration, inorganic synthesis, chromatography)


Chemistry Award for Outstanding Doctoral Student, Stony Brook University, 2016
Kokes Award, 24th North American Catalysis Society Meeting, 2015
Excellent Undergraduate Thesis in Material Science & Engineering, 2011


  • 251st American Chemical Society (ACS) Meeting: oral presentation
  • 24th North American Catalysis Society Meeting: oral presentation
  • Gordon Research Conference – Catalysis 2014: poster presentation
  • BNL Users’ Meeting 2013-2015: poster presentation


[1] Z. Liu, W. Xu, S. Yao, A.C. Johnson-Peck, F. Zhao, P. Michorczyk, A. Kubacka, E.A. Stach, M. Fernández-García, S.D. Senanayake, J.A. Rodriguez, Superior performance of Ni–W–Ce mixed-metal oxide catalysts for ethanol steam reforming: Synergistic effects of W- and Ni-dopants, J. Catal. 321 (2015) 90-99.

[2] Z. Liu, D. C. Grinter, P. Lustemberg, T.-D. Nguyen-Phan, Y. Zhou, S. Luo, I. Waluyo, E. J. Crumlin, D. J. Stacchiola, J. Zhou, J. Carrasco, H. F. Busnengo, M. V. Ganduglia-Pirovano, S. D. Senanayake, J. A. Rodriguez, Dry Reforming of Methane on a Highly-Active Ni-CeO2 Catalyst: Effects of Metal-Support Interactions on C-H bond breaking, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 55 (2016) 7455-7459.

[3] Z. Liu, S.D. Senanayake, J.A. Rodriguez, Elucidating the Interaction between Ni and CeO x in Ethanol Steam Reforming Catalysts: A Perspective of Recent Studies over Model and Powder Systems, Appl. Catal. B, 197 (2016) 184-197

[4] Z. Liu, T. Duchoň, H. Wang, D. C. Grinter, I. Waluyo, J. Zhou, Q. Liu, B. Jeong. E. Crumlin. V. Matolín, D.J. Stacchiola, J.A. Rodriguez, S.D. Senanayake, Probing the Pathways to H2 Generation through Ethanol Steam Reforming: An In Situ Study of C-C and O-H Bond Scission on Ni-CeO¬2(111) Catalysts. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 18 (2016) 16621-16628

[5] Z. Liu, T. Duchoň, H. Wang, E.W. Peterson, Y. Zhou, S. Luo, J. Zhou, V. Matolín, D.J. Stacchiola, J.A. Rodriguez, S.D. Senanayake, Mechanistic Insights of Ethanol Steam Reforming over Ni–CeOx(111): The Importance of Hydroxyl Groups for Suppressing Coke Formation, J. Phys. Chem. C, 119 (2015) 18248-18256.

[6] Z. Liu, X. Li, Y. Yang, K. Zhang, X. Wang, M. Zhu, B.S. Hsiao, Control of structure and morphology of highly aligned PLLA ultrafine fibers via linear-jet electrospinning, Polymer, 54 (2013) 6045-6051.

[7] W. Xu, Z. Liu, A.C. Johnston-Peck, S.D. Senanayake, G. Zhou, D. Stacchiola, E.A. Stach, J.A. Rodriguez, Steam Reforming of Ethanol on Ni/CeO2: Reaction Pathway and Interaction between Ni and the CeO2 Support, ACS Catalysis, 3 (2013) 975-984.

[8] J. Carrasco, D. López-Durán, Z. Liu, T. Duchoň, J. Evans, S.D. Senanayake, E.J. Crumlin, V. Matolín, J.A. Rodríguez, M.V. Ganduglia-Pirovano, In Situ and Theoretical Studies for the Dissociation of Water on an Active Ni/CeO2 Catalyst: Importance of Strong Metal–Support Interactions for the Cleavage of O–H Bonds, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 54 (2015) 3917-3921.

[9] T.-D. Nguyen-Phan, Z. Liu, S. Luo, A.D. Gamalski, D. Vovchok, W. Xu, E.A. Stach, D.E. Polyansky, E. Fujita, J.A. Rodriguez, S.D. Senanayake, Unraveling the Hydrogenation of TiO2 and Graphene Oxide/TiO2 Composites in Real Time by in Situ Synchrotron X-ray Powder Diffraction and Pair Distribution Function Analysis, J. Phys. Chem. C, 120 (2016) 3472-3482.

[10] T.-D. Nguyen-Phan, S. Luo, Z. Liu, A.D. Gamalski, J. Tao, W. Xu, E.A. Stach, D.E. Polyansky, S.D. Senanayake, E. Fujita, J.A. Rodriguez, Striving Toward Noble-Metal-Free Photocatalytic Water Splitting: The Hydrogenated-Graphene–TiO2 Prototype, Chem. Mater. 27 (2015) 6282-6296.

[11] F. Zhao, Z. Liu, W. Xu, S. Yao, A. Kubacka, A.C. Johnston-Peck, S.D. Senanayake, A.-Q. Zhang, E.A. Stach, M. Fernández-García, Water-Gas Shift Reaction on Ni–W–Ce Catalysts: Catalytic Activity and Structural Characterization, J. Phys. Chem. C, 118 (2014) 2528-2538.

[12] F. Zhao, Z. Liu, W. Xu, S. Yao, R. Si, A.C. Johnston-Peck, A. Martínez-Arias, J.C. Hanson, S.D. Senanayake, J.A. Rodriguez, Pulse Studies to Decipher the Role of Surface Morphology in CuO/CeO2 Nanocatalysts for the Water Gas Shift Reaction, Catal. Lett. 145 (2015) 808-815.

[13] B. Eren, Z. Liu, D. Stacchiola, G.A. Somorjai, M. Salmeron, Structural Changes of Cu(110) and Cu(110)-(2 × 1)-O Surfaces under Carbon Monoxide in the Torr Pressure Range Studied with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Infrared Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy, J. Phys. Chem. C, 120 (2016) 8227-8231.

[14] X. Wang, M. Min, Z. Liu, Y. Yang, Z. Zhou, M. Zhu, Y. Chen, B.S. Hsiao, Poly (ethyleneimine) nanofibrous affinity membrane fabricated via one step wet-electrospinning from poly (vinyl alcohol)-doped poly (ethyleneimine) solution system and its application, J. Membr. Sci., 379 (2011) 191-199.

[15] K. Mudiyanselage, A.E. Baber, Z. Liu, S.D. Senanayake, D.J. Stacchiola, Isolation and characterization of formates on CeO x–Cu y O/Cu (111), Catal. Today, 240 (2015) 190-200.

[16] S.D. Senanayake, N.A. Pappoe, T.-D. Nguyen-Phan, S. Luo, Y. Li, W. Xu, Z. Liu, K. Mudiyanselage, A.C. Johnston-Peck, A.I. Frenkel, I. Heckler, D. Stacchiola, J.A. Rodriguez, Interfacial Cu+ promoted surface reactivity: Carbon monoxide oxidation reaction over polycrystalline copper–titania catalysts, Surf. Sci. 2016, DOI: 10.1016/j.susc.2016.02.014

[17] S.D. Senanayake, P.J. Ramírez, I. Waluyo, S. Kundu, K. Mudiyanselage, Z. Liu, S. Axnanda, D.J. Stacchiola, J. Evans, J.A. Rodriguez, Hydrogenation of CO2 to Methanol on CeOx/Cu(111) and ZnO/Cu(111) Catalysts: Role of the Metal–Oxide Interface and Importance of Ce3+ Sites, J. Phys. Chem. C, 120 (2016) 1778-1784.

[18] P. Tang, G. Hu, Y. Gao, W. Li, S. Yao, Z. Liu, D. Ma, The microwave adsorption behavior and microwave-assisted heteroatoms doping of graphene-based nano-carbon materials, Sci. Rep. 4 (2014) 5901.

[19] M. Min, X. Wang, Y. Yang, Z. Liu, Z. Zhou, M. Zhu, Y. Chen, B.S. Hsiao, Fabrication of micro-nano structure nanofibers by solvent etching, J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 11 (2011) 6919-6925.